Labourer vented anger on house

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 09:00 23/11/2012

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A young farm labourer given a fresh start repaid the farm owner by trashing his house, causing more than $12,000 damage.

Richard James Alty, 19, admitted intentionally damaging the house he had been given to live in while working for the Southland farmer.

After leaving the farm for another job, and arguing with the farm owner about who owned the furniture, Alty and his mate, Daniel-James Green, went back to the house at 1am on June 1, the New Plymouth District Court heard.

Inside the pair slashed and kicked holes in the walls, smashed windows, threw rubbish over the floor, broke water taps in the kitchen soaking the floors and smashed and slashed the furniture.

In total, the destruction cost $12,190 to repair.

In his victim impact statement to the court, the owner said he was absolutely devastated at his young worker's "piggish and spiteful" behaviour.

Alty had asked him for a fresh start but as a result of the offending the farmer said he would probably never take the risk and hire a young man again.

Alty's defence counsel, Heather Froude, said her client accepted that he acted completely inappropriately in causing the damage.

He was remorseful for his bad reaction. He now lived in New Plymouth with his parents, was unemployed but would be able to increase his offer of $20 per week to repay the damage when he got another job.

Judge Allan Roberts sentenced Alty to 250 hours community work - the same as his co-offender - and ordered he repay half the cost of the damage at $20 per week.

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