'Prowler' tried to peer into woman's bedroom

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 13:36 29/05/2014

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A Christchurch man has admitted to being a prowler by repeatedly sneaking around a woman's property, but he will not accept that he has stalked the victim since 2012.

Manuel Piniha Hayward, a 39-year-old scaffolder from Northcote, pleaded guilty in the Christchurch District Court to three charges relating to the same female victim.

He admitted one burglary and two charges of being unlawfully on the same property. He also admitted receiving a cellphone stolen in another burglary.

Judge John Macdonald said he had seen material suggesting there had been some sort of sexual motive or infatuation behind the offending.

Defence counsel Nicola Pointer said it was accepted that the victim had suffered some upset and trauma, but none of the alleged offending stretching back further to 2012 could be attributed to him.

She said the police had indicated there was some sexual motive but that was not borne out by the charges.

Judge Macdonald ruled out a community-based sentence by declining to call for a report on Hayward's suitability for home or community detention for his sentencing, which is set for July 1.

He remains in custody.

The judge also declined to order a special victim impact report by a medical professional as requested by the police.

The sentencing judge will have a pre-sentence report, a victim impact statement prepared by the police, and a reparation report that may suggest an emotional harm payment to the victim.

Hayward's criminal history includes 23 previous burglary convictions. He has been undergoing a drug and alcohol course while on remand in prison.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Iain Patton said the woman had installed security cameras at her house in October because she was concerned about activity. Since then, someone has climbed a tree, gone onto the roof, and moved the camera several times.

The cameras captured Hayward - who does not know the woman - creeping around the house on May 5 and police found him nearby.

He admitted going onto the property on February 5, when the camera was moved at 1am.

On April 16, he went up the driveway to the house, removed his shoes and went onto the deck where he tried to peer through the window, before moving a security camera that covered the woman's bedroom window.

On May 5, at 5.51am, he entered the property, tried to look through a window where the curtains were drawn, and climbed the tree and changed the direction of the security camera.

He removed his shoes and walked around the address, peered into the bedroom window where the curtains were drawn, and went into the conservatory.

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When police arrived, Hayward climbed a fence, ran through a neighbouring property, and then cycled off.

When he was caught at a cordon, he said he had only gone onto the property to urinate, said Sergeant Patton.

- The Press

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