Burglar thought he was in Lord of the Rings

TRACEY CHATTERTON
Last updated 13:37 07/11/2012
Michelle Pyke
Napier councillor Michelle Pyke, whose son Donovan Gene Hannay, 22, broke into a school shed because he thought he was in Lord of the Rings.

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The son of a Napier councillor broke into a school shed because he thought he was on the Lord of the Rings set.

Donovan Gene Hannay, 22, was so intoxicated he thought he was walking through a forest towards a wooden shed in the early hours of September 23.

He carefully removed a glass pane from the shed, put a brick on top of some wire netting and climbed through the window.

But once he turned the light on, he ''freaked out'' and realised he was inside a shed - belonging to Napier Intermediate School.

Hannay had no recollection of the incident. It wasn't until he got an earful from his mum, Napier councillor Michelle Pyke, about a phone call from the police, that he realised he might be in some trouble.

Ms Pyke said she was extremely disappointed in her son's behaviour.

''I tore strips off him.''

Police were alerted to the burglary because Hannay set off the school alarm. They recovered his fingerprints from the window pane and found a pair of keys belonging to the school at his flat.

Hannay told police he had been on a ''trip'' from the drugs he had taken during a binge drinking session that night. He admitted he would have taken the keys because he had a fascination with them.

Hannay acknowledged that although he was ''wasted'', he knew it was the wrong thing to do.

Appearing in the Napier District Court this morning, Hannay pleaded guilty to the burglary.

Police prosecutor John Ashfield said Hannay had taken non-prescription drugs that night.

''He thought he was on the set of the Lord of the Rings when he came across a wooden shed in the forest.''

His lawyer Philip Jensen said, while Hannay had a history of ''nuisance'' crimes this was his first burglary and he never used the keys to the school.

Judge Heather Simpson said Hannay had a ''fanciful'' idea while under the influence of drugs.

''There's a common pattern that a person under the influence subsequently gets into a place they shouldn't be and takes something.''

Hannay was sentenced to 120 hours' community work.

Outside of court, Hannay said he regretted his offending. He had no idea he was breaking into a school.

''It was 1am, I was walking through a field that was like a forest and I saw a hut.'' He didn't see any hobbits.

Hannay vowed to now stay away from clonazepam.

''That was just a once a once-off. I don't even drink much. Home brew spirits and clonazepam ... I'm never doing that again.''

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Contact Tracey Chatterton
Hawke's Bay reporter
Email: tracey.chatterton@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @trackchatt

- The Dominion Post

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