Kaikoura Safer Now Petrol Station Arsonist is Behind Bars

Kaikoura will be a little safer from now on after an arsonist was jailed for 4 years and 8 months.

New Zealand’s grinding poverty no doubt had something to do with the attack on the Caltex Service Station in the small township of Kaikoura. In what could’ve been taken from a scene in the TV series Top of the Lake the news site Stuff.co.nz reported

    “The man convicted of stealing from the Kaikoura Caltex service station and setting it on fire to cover up his theft has been jailed for more than four years.

Yesterday, Blenheim District Court Judge Stephen Harrop sentenced 47-year-old Tony Clifford King to four years and eight months in prison on one charge of arson, one of theft, and two of theft in a special relationship.

He said he had taken into account that King had no previous convictions and it was extremely unusual for someone of his age and background to then offend.

He deserved credit for having been a valuable employee and community member.

However, the arson charge and the potential “catastrophic” risk of a fire near fuel tanks meant prison was “inevitable”.

Judge Harrop said King had been a forecourt attendant at the service station and worked the late shift on the weekend of February 19 and 20, 2011.

His financial situation was not good and he was under pressure from his landlord to pay overdue rent…” more here

One has to question the intelligence of a service station worker who takes a torch to his workplace after robbing it. Unfortunately it is impossible to legislate against stupidity.

Considering the potential for catastrophe the jail sentence does appear to be lenient. But, for  couple of years, there is one less criminal on the street. And for that the people of Kaikoura must be grateful.

Some comments about Kaikoura taken from the Trademe message boards (link 1, link 2)

“Kaikoura has pretty poor employment prospects, a pretty poor high school (do you have kids?), expensive petrol, and a lack of ‘stuff’ you might be used to.
If you are a very boring person, or you love the ‘great outdoors’ so much that you are willing to sacrifice everything else, you might like living there. Otherwise I’d suggest that it is a place to visit, not a place to live in.”

“Petrol and food expensive. Limited shopping. Limited recreational acitivites. Hospital provides limited care. Climate so so, very cold in winter. Beach a non-event. Great fishing etc. Close to mountains, Chch and Blenheim. Good place if you like a laid back lifestyle, but not much doing if you are social or have kids.”

“it is kind of not anywhere … not close enough to Nelson. A bit too far from ChCh. Stuck between the mountains and sea with SH1 and railway going through it.”

“I got chased by a seal there.  It was an adrenalized experience.”

Is there any places around Kaikoura to go freedom camping in a tent???

“Just watch out for the locals, they love clubbing seals and out of towners.”

Kaikoura’s “West End”


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4 thoughts on “Kaikoura Safer Now Petrol Station Arsonist is Behind Bars

  1. I left that shit town 8 years ago and have never regretted it for a second. My parents are still there and I worry about them.

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