Former Palmerston North shoe shop worker discharged without conviction for shoe offending

A former Palmerston North shoe store worker who shared inappropriate shoe-related images online has been discharged without conviction.

Malachai Scott Roger Wylie, 23, was arrested in April and charged with two counts of offensive behaviour and theft.

Earlier this year it was revealed that the employee allegedly sniffed and spat and performed sex acts in workers’ shoes and posted the evidence on an online foot fetish forum.

Judge Russell Collins told the hearing concern for the man’s mental health dominated his thinking when issuing his decision.

He said everything he’s been through and the publication of his offending was a “far greater” punishment than anything he could impose.

The Judge said the charges were at the “very bottom” in terms of hierarchy of seriousness and there were no identifiable victims who knew they were victims.

While he said this doesn’t make his offending any less serious, he said it needed to be considered.

Also noted were his attempts to access care for his mental health prior and during his offending, which were unsuccessful.

Wylie had no previous convictions and Collins said he had pleaded guilty at a very early stage.

Also mentioned were comments from his mother, who the judge said she thought he had “lost” a sense of safety due to journalists knocking on his door, he had lost his job and also had to find new accommodation.

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