An Australian tourist who felt ''ripped off'' after a taxi ride in Queenstown slapped the driver and demanded a refund when he saw him the next day.
John Nasos Savva, 30, a builder, got a ride from central Queenstown to Marina Drive on July 27 with self-employed taxi driver Luis Kreische.
He was charged $51 for the about 5km trip.
When he saw Kreische sitting in his cab in central Queenstown the following day, he got into the vehicle and threatened him.
Prosecuting Sergeant Ian Collin said Savva told Kreische he had been ''ripped off'' the day before, and would slap him unless he got a refund.
He threatened the victim with a clenched fist during the five-minute conversation.
The victim gave $20 to Savva, who slapped him in the side of the head before getting out of the vehicle.
Savva admitted charges of assaulting Kreische and stealing $20.
Judge Brandts-Giesen told the defendant he had ''absolutely no right'' to do what he did.
''Taxi drivers are in a very vulnerable position.''
The defendant would probably feel ''ripped off by the court'' for the fines and reparation he would now have to pay, he said.
Savva was convicted of both charges. For the assault, he must pay a $250 fine and $750 to the victim for emotional harm.
He was fined another $250 and $130 court costs for the theft.