A recidivist shoplifter has been found not guilty of swinging a skateboard at a Pak’nSave security guard that he’s been in a long-standing feud with.
“I admit to shoplifting and yelling and being rude to the gentleman but there is no assault,” Perry Osbourne said in the Wellington District court this afternoon.
Osbourne was found not guilty at a judge-alone trial after it was alleged he swung his skateboard at Kilbirnie Pak’nSave’s loss prevention manager Gregory Swayne.
This was said to be in retaliation after he was confronted for shoplifting meat and alcohol, putting the items in a bag and down his pants.
Swayne said Osbourne was well known to him as he had stolen, and was trespassed, from the store on numerous occasions.
Osbourne was watched on CCTV on April 17, 2021, as he made his way through the store, collecting meat and alcohol and putting it in his green tote bag. He also put a packet of bacon down his pants.
Swayne said he waited for Osbourne outside, and when he left without making any attempt to pay, he confronted him.
There was a tussle between the two men, and Osbourne let go of the bag and took off on his skateboard.
CCTV footage showed that Osbourne then turned around to speak Swayne, in his own words “to give him a piece of my mind”.
The pair retreated to the edge of the frame when the alleged assault was said to have happened. Swayne stepped back in what was said to be the moment where the skateboard was swung, but Osbourne denied that this happened.
This was neither proven nor disproven in court today, and Judge Andrew Nichols said he was not going to make a definitive finding one way or the other.
Judge Nichols said he was left unsure as to what happened “at the crucial moment off screen” and found Osbourne not guilty.
In a report made on the day of the alleged assault, Swayne said he was said, “beyond tired of Perry coming into my store, we need him off the streets as soon as possible.”
Swayne said in court that he’d had a “guts full” of Osbourne.
Defence lawyer Raphael Solomon asked Swayne if he could see on the CCTV footage if the skateboard was under the arm of Osbourne when he went back to confront him.
“I’m under oath and I have to say it’s there because I know it’s there … how could I say it’s not there, because I know it is,” Swayne said.
Osbourne said his relationship with Swayne was one of love/hate and that evening he turned around to give him a piece of his mind.
“He doesn’t like me, I don’t like him,” Osbourne said.
He said if he had done something, he was going to tell the truth, and the truth was that he didn’t swing his board at Swayne.
“I would say that as a human being I know that it’s wrong to steal, but there is usually a reason for that behaviour,” Osbourne said when he took the witness stand.
“I want to improve and the only way to do that is to take responsibility for my own actions and the truth is a big part of that.”
When he was asked by police prosecutor Nicholas Fountain what he said to Swayne that night he said he couldn’t remember.
“Understandably he doesn’t like me so lots of times when we did interact, he would be saying not very nice things towards me so I suppose I just responded and wanted to say nasty things to him.
“It would have been along the lines of that’s my bag, I would have been heated and would have told him he was an asshole,” Osbourne told Fountain.
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