Judge chuckles at chip shop burglar
A bungling teen burglar will have to pay $1563 for the damage he caused by getting stuck in a fish and chip shop's extractor vent.
Judge Stan Thorburn made the order in the Christchurch District Court today as he sentenced Porou Tyman Lypton Wrathall for burglary.
The judge chuckled when he saw photographs of the predicament Wrathall had got himself into.
Wrathall, 18, a student, pleaded guilty to the burglary charge two weeks ago and was remanded for a pre-sentence report, and for the cost of reparation to be sorted out.
Wrathall had to be cut out of the vent after becoming stuck and calling for help, which alerted the neighbours. He was admitted to hospital suffering from hypothermia after hours in the vent, and from crush injuries that caused problems for his kidneys from being wedged in.
Defence counsel Donald Dickson said Wrathall accepted he was drunk when the incident occurred. He had spent four days in hospital afterwards.
Judge Thorburn said he only chuckled because he saw the situation as ironic.
"I doubt he would be stupid enough to be involved in a situation like this again," the judge said.
"It is a rather embarrassing lesson to learn about the effects of alcohol."
He convicted Wrathall and ordered him to come up for sentence if called upon within 12 months, and ordered him to pay the $1563 repair costs and $200 for the police's costs involved in rescuing him.
"The police have got better things to do than get blokes like you out of pipes," Judge Thorburn said.
"I hope you have got enough stuff in your cranium to work out what's going on here - we don't want to see you back here again."
The original claim for reparations had been $8800 but Dickson said that figure was "way out of line with anything that would have been proper". The police came up with the lower figure of $1563 before sentencing.
Wrathall had no previous criminal record.