Being a real tosser almost landed a man back in the jail from which he had just been released after he admitted throwing packages of tobacco and tattooing ink over the fences into the compounds of Hawke's Bay Prison.

Jason Gary Stuart Grant, 35, was still subject to release conditions when he answered the call from former fellow inmates, and could have been answerable to Corrections officers at the jail.

But in Hastings District Court yesterday Judge Bridget Mackintosh said it could have created an "administrative nightmare," and the officers at Hawke's Bay Prison "don't need this sort of grief." She sentenced Grant to 40 hours' community work.

It came after lawyer Matthew Phelps told her Grant had otherwise done well since his release from prison, and had "everything else going for him," until he "bowed to peer pressure" and committed the blemish about 6.30pm on May 21 - "outside visiting hours," said police prosecutor Sergeant Andy Horne.