A 26-year-old tourist who is part of a reviled family of travellers has admitted theft charges in court today.
Tina Maria Cash, 26, stole energy drinks, rope and sunglasses from an Auckland service station on two separate occasions.
Community Magistrate Ngaire Mascelle turned down media applications to photograph and film Cash when she appeared in Hamilton District Court this morning.
The court heard that Cash stole a can of Red Bull from a Caltex service station at Albany on December 31.
At the same time another woman she was with hid a bottle of Primo under her dressing gown while paying for a packet of cigarettes.
Cash waited at the door until the service station assistant was distracted serving the other woman and left with the can of Red Bull.
The other woman did not pay for the Primo.
On January 3, Cash returned to the Caltex with her children and stole more Red Bull, rope and sunglasses valued at $50.
Her lawyer told the court she does not remember the incident, but accepts the theft was caught on CCTV video.
She has been convicted and ordered to pay $55 in reparation.
The court heard Cash arrived in the country on December 29 with her extended family on a six-month visa, telling some locals they were Irish but it was later established they are English.
Mascelle declined media applications to photograph Cash in the dock, saying that it was her first offence in this jurisdiction and that it was relatively low-level offending.
She noted the media attention that the family had already received following skirmishes with locals in Auckland and Hamilton during the past week.
Mascelle claimed the offending did not warrant further media attention.
She gave Cash credit for the early guilty pleas and noted that a night in the cells last night was a significant penalty.
Cash was convicted on the two theft charges and ordered to pay back the $55.20 by 4pm today.
Caltex regional manager Ankur Patel told the Herald staff spotted the thefts on CCTV footage and confronted the family when they returned a third time.
"A woman came back and the site manager talked to her and showed her pictures but she told him in the face 'that's not me'," Patel said.
However, a man eventually paid for some of the stolen items but refused to pay other outstanding bills and the Caltex contacted police.
Patel said the Caltex workers were "honestly shocked" by the actions of the group and said it was pleasing "in a way" the group were punished.
Night in the cells
Cash, who is from England, spent the night in custody after being arrested in Hamilton yesterday.
She is among a group of holidaymakers from hell causing trouble across Auckland and Hamilton.
The woman has been on a supposed two-week trip of a lifetime tour of New Zealand with her now infamous family.
Her family members were seen arriving at the court house to hear the proceedings.
Family member John Johnson told the Herald yesterday they were all from England, not Ireland, as had been widely reported.
The family also denied not paying for food at restaurants, with Johnson instead claiming that his grandfather was the 10th richest man in England.
But police and Immigration officials caught up with the group after a complaint of their behaviour by staff at Burger King Te Rapa, Hamilton.
One staff member said they had been a nuisance earlier in the morning, complaining about food, wanting replacement burgers before returning later in the day and walking through the drive-through.
Shortly afterwards they were stopped by police in the suburb of Harrowfield when officers found that two young children in their car were not in appropriate car seats.
A family member was then taken by police to The Warehouse to buy two seats.