A man who spent thousands in gifts on his girlfriend’s birthday has had to pay more than $1,000 in court fees after a judge ruled he should not be held responsible for the costs.
A hearing has been set in Hamilton Magistrates Court to decide whether the man can repay his gifts, as well as a $2,500 fine.
John Withers, 46, bought a number of gifts for his girlfriend, including a customised pair of glasses and a $600 bracelet with a heart-shaped clasp.
The money he spent on her birthday celebrations was then used to purchase a new Mercedes Benz.
He said he was surprised to find the amount of money he had spent on the purchase.
“She’s a very special person,” he said.
“And so I wanted to have her celebrate a birthday.”
He said the money spent on his birthday celebration was “absolutely worth it” because his girlfriend had given birth to their daughter earlier this year.
The court heard he did not pay his debt because he did so out of love and a desire to help his girlfriend.
But he will now have to pay the $2.4,000 fine and a further $1.1,500 in court costs.
“It’s just a sad situation,” said Wither’s lawyer, James McKean.
“We’re very sorry for the financial difficulties Mr Wither has experienced and we hope that this is the first step in getting his affairs in order.”
The couple married in 2012 and Wither was on a honeymoon in Greece when he bought his wife the new car.
“He said he bought it to have a bit of fun and a bit more adventure,” McKeant said.
He has since moved to Hamilton, where he lives with his wife and three daughters.
The woman, who did not want to be named, said she was thrilled to see her new Mercedes.
“I just love my new car,” she said.
The court heard that the couple’s relationship had deteriorated and the couple split up a few months ago.
Wither moved to New Zealand to work as a computer systems engineer.
Withers’ wife said she had also been living with a partner.
McKean said Wirth was “very remorseful” for the spending.
“What he’s saying to me is, I shouldn’t have done that.
He’s going to have to go to jail,” she told reporters outside the courthouse.
“It’s been a very tough couple of years.”
Topics:courts-and-trials,law-crime-and‑justice,law,courts,courtesy-media,courthouses-and~courts/federal—state-issues,human-interest,hamilton-3151,ca,hawaii,au First posted September 14, 2019 11:02:13Contact Paul TassiMore stories from New Zealand