85-year-old jailed for shoplifting in New Zealand

Thursday, June 22, 2006

An 85-year man, Reginald Hugh Donovan has been jailed for a month by the Christchurch District Court for shoplifting. He is the oldest person in New Zealand to be sentenced to prison.

Mr Donovan has been previously banned from many stores for shoplifting and has been convicted about 50 times for it.

The Christchurch District Court judge, Colin Doherty, said to Mr Donovan "You are a recidivist and incorrigible thief. You steal predominantly from local supermarkets. The extent of your offending is not great in monetary terms, but you persist."

He has always promised to stop shoplifting after receiving sentences of supervision and community work. He blames his poor memory for his shoplifting problems.

Mr Donovan was found stealing small items and he did not have enough money in his pocket to pay for those items. He suffers from deafness, dizzy spells, chronic breathing difficulties and the after-effects of a disabling accident.