It might sound like a half-baked charge, but a Nelson man has been charged with stealing nine meat pies thrown away in a skip.

Reece Aiden Gibbs is due to appear before Nelson District Court tomorrow for the alleged theft of the pies, valued at $21, which were in a tip behind the Shell service station in Stoke.

His lawyer Craig Stevenson refused to comment yesterday. But the Nelson Mail reported that when Gibbs failed to show up to court for a previously scheduled appearance last Tuesday, Stevenson asked the prosecutor to withdraw the charge.

The prosecutor declined but said alternatives would be looked at.

Otago University law professor Mark Henaghan told the Herald on Sunday that even if the pies had been thrown out, there may still be some issues around who legally owned them when they were taken.

"There could be an argument around who was going to take the skip away. The service station may have thrown [the pies] out but the person who has the skip then has implied ownership."

He said police would probably take legal advice as to whether to pursue the charges.