Abusing people online is a bad idea. Writing expletive-laden rants about a district court judge is a really bad idea. And the worst idea ever? Writing abusive Facebook comments about a district court judge a few days before you're due in his court.
That's exactly what one Taranaki man did though – and the consequences of his actions are set out in a court transcript published on The Spinoff website.
A story about the retirement of Judge Allan Roberts was reported in the Taranaki Daily News, and shared on social media.
Troy LaRue came across the story and left an explicit comment insulting Judge Roberts' appearance.
A few days later Mr LaRue appeared in court for unpaid traffic fines of $6244.
Judge Roberts sentenced him to community work -- and then asked Mr LaRue to read out the offensive post.
"It's a posting you created, isn't it?" Judge Roberts asks Mr LaRue, according to the court transcript.
"Yeah, I was very intoxicated," says Mr LaRue.
"Read it out loud," instructs Judge Roberts.
After some initial attempts at evasion, Mr LaRue reads the offending comments.
"LOL I hope the f**kers gone by Friday. Ha ha. F**ker, nah f**kin c**t whose old face and saggy chin. F**k off."
"Who are you talking about when you talk about, "The f**king old c**t with the saggy old chin'?" the judge asks Mr LaRue.
"Well I guess I'm talking about you, Sir," admits Mr LaRue.
Mr LaRue makes several attempts at an apology, but the judge isn't having any of it.
"Now you're hardly a picture yourself are you?" the judge notes.
"You don't work, do you?" he continues.
"You're otherwise indolent, aren't you? Bone idle."
Judge Roberts then sentences Mr LaRue to 300 hours of community work and instructs him to "work off your laughter in the cells while we get the order typed".
Mr LaRue makes one more attempt at an apology.
"Damage done, Mr La Rue," the judge says. "Don't give a toss."