Charity donation helps Westpac Stadium pitch invader avoid criminal conviction
A rugby fan's moment of drunken stupidity at a game between the British and Irish Lions and the Hurricanes has left him with a badly injured ankle, but no criminal conviction.
Alexander George Browne, 22, of Lyall Bay in Wellington, had been drinking at the game at Westpac Stadium on June 27.
About 8.55pm he stripped off his shirt, pushed past a security guard and ran down the stairs. He went over the railing and landed on the field.
Four security guards promptly stopped him, resulting in a badly injured ankle.
When asked why he had done it, he said: "Oh I don't know, drunk I suppose."
On Monday he pleaded guilty to pitch invasion, having to hobble to the dock on crutches.
Wellington District Court Judge Ian Mill was willing to entertain a discharge without conviction, but wanted Browne to make a donation to a charity and to be assessed for harmful drinking before he agreed.
Browne was charged under the Major Events Management Act for which the Lions tour applied. He faced a maximum penalty of three months jail or a fine of $5000.
His lawyer, Andrew Jack, said Browne did not interfere with the crowd or the game.
His client could not now work until September due to the injury, he said.
Browne paid $250 to the Salvation Army.
"I guess if you haven't learnt from this experience you never will," the judge said.
He granted the discharge without conviction