Assault with a hedgehog leads to fine

A 27-year-old Whakatane man has been fined for assaulting a teenage boy with a hedgehog.

Whakatane District Court was told that William Singalargh threw a hedgehog at a 15-year-old boy hitting him on the hip and leaving a large red welt and several puncture marks.

Police prosecutor Lisa Cowie said the victim and two friends were riding home from the Whakatane skate park in February when they were confronted by Singalargh.

He threatened the boys with the hedgehog, saying "Do you want to wear a hedgehog helmet?"

He then launched it at the victim, hitting him in the right hip causing several quills to lodge in his skin.

The defence claimed that it was a case of mistaken identity and the hedgehog was thrown by a friend of Singalargh.

Singalargh was convicted of common assault and offensive behaviour following a defended hearing. A charge of assault with a weapon, namely a hedgehog, was dropped.

He was fined a total of $700 with $500 going to his victim.

Passing sentence, Judge Ian Thomas described the case as "much ado about nothing in many respects".

The unusual nature of the case had resulted in national and international interest.