A Hawke's Bay early childhood teacher has won her bid for name suppression after admitting two counts of shoplifting.

The woman appeared in Hastings District Court yesterday and successfully avoided both a conviction and the publication of her name.

Two charges of shoplifting arose from separate incidents where she stole clothing from the same Havelock North fashion store in October last year.

Defence lawyer Bill Calver said his client suffered from a mental illness at the time of the offending and argued the theft had "bizarre overtones'' and was "unlike most shoplifting offending''.


On October 29 the woman walked back to the store in question to re-offend wearing the very clothing item she stole from the business on October 1, he said.

He pushed for a discharge without conviction and said the publication of her name would be "highly disadvantageous''.

"Her career would be over,'' Mr Calver said.

Last year she was given police diversion for further shoplifting after stealing four handbags.

Police senior prosecutor Andy Horne opposed suppression and claimed retailers had the right to know her identity.

The defence argued her offending was already known among local retailers.

"They don't need to read about it on the front page of the newspaper to know [her identity].''

Total reparation of $523 had since been paid.


Judge Bridget Mackintosh said the consequences of a conviction would outweigh the seriousness of the crimes, and agreed to discharge without conviction.

Citing a psychiatric report, she said both thefts were committed while the woman was unwell and there was little chance of repeat offending.

Permanent name suppression was granted. The judge said publishing people's names often precluded the benefit of a discharge without conviction sentence.