An argument over fruit ended with a smashed window and a $400 reparation bill this week.

Robert John Barnes was at Hill St Greens on June 17 when he got into an "altercation" with an employee about payment for fruit.

Barnes became "aggressive" during the argument, police prosecutor Sergeant Rachel Willemsen told the Whanganui District Court on Tuesday.

He left the store and went across the road to pick up a metal bicycle wheel with no rubber or tread on it, she said. He then returned to throw the wheel through the store window, shattering the glass over some of the fruit.

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He pleaded guilty to wilful damage when he appeared before Judge David Cameron, who described the offending as a "nasty, lawless incident".

He sentenced Barnes to 100 hours of community work and ordered him to pay $400 of reparation for the window and fruit which could not be sold.