An 18-year-old who stole $90 worth of newspapers claimed he did so to keep a homeless person warm.
The teen pleaded guilty to theft of property.
On June 2 at 3am the offender and his associate were in Queen St, Masterton where they stole a stack of 30 Sunday newspapers which were the property of the Copper Kettle Dairy, said prosecuting Sergeant Garry Wilson.
They walked to the Masterton grandstand and lit a fire with the newspapers, he added.
But the teenager explained his actions saying his homeless friend had been cold and sick.
Defence lawyer Frank Minehan said there was an element of charity and empathy for a homeless person.
Mr Minehan said the teen is a talented music student. Judge Behrens said there may be grounds to discharge the teen without a conviction and remanded him to reappear on August 22.