A Tinui teenager who appeared to be reaching for a knife when approached by police, last year, has been described as having the "worst attitude" his probation officer had ever seen.

Levi Teariki Epps, 19, was spared prison on Tuesday during his appearance at Masterton District Court on a string of driving and probation offences, and a weapons and ammunition charge.

Instead, he received six months' community detention, from Judge Barbara Morris, with hours of curfew of 8pm to 2am Monday to Thursday, and 8pm Friday to 2am Monday.

"That's not to encourage you to go out, but because that is the number of hours available," Judge Morris said.

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The sentence is to be served at a Feilding property because Epps' Tinui address, his parents' home, was unable to be kitted out for electronic monitoring. The judge chose community detention over home detention because the occupier of the house in Feilding, a relative, believed he would be able to find Epps a job to enable him to contribute to household expenses.

Judge Morris outlined Epps' list of offences which included disqualified driving on October 12 and November 12, and disqualified driving being a third or more offence, on November 17.

There was a charge of possessing utensils for cannabis use on November 7, a breach of supervision charge, two breaches of community work, and two breaches of bail occasioned by Epps failing to turn up to court.

On November 17, Epps was seen by police sitting in a car with the motor running. He had two warrants for his arrest because of not turning up to court. As police approached, Epps reached backwards into the car. When police searched the car, they found a large, green-handled knife, in the area Epps had been reaching for.

When they asked Epps about the knife, they "were told they were lucky you didn't get it", Judge Morris said. Police also found 109 rounds of ammunition including high calibre.

In sentencing, Judge Morris said Epps had shown "the worst attitude ever seen by your probation officer, who had been doing this for some time".

She said Epps did "not appreciate the serious position you are in today", but she was prepared to take into account his age. The judge cancelled Epps' supervision and imposed a new sentence of 12 months' supervision, and left his outstanding community work in place.