Opportunistic raider caught out

A bungling prowler has admitted to a night-time raid where everything went wrong.

Twenty-seven-year-old Dwayne Andrew Clarke, of Phillipstown, admitted charges of unlawfully getting into a car and disorderly behaviour at an appearance before Judge Raoul Neave in the Christchurch District Court today.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Kathy Pomfrett said Clarke had walked up a driveway at 12.45am on October 17 and got into a car that had been left unlocked.

While he was rummaging through the glovebox, he bumped the horn, which alerted the owner who was watching television inside.

The owner came outside, confronted him, and in the struggle that followed Clarke's cellphone fell out of his jacket pocket. He got away, but the owner handed the phone to the police.

Clarke was given 40 hours of community work for the offences.

The court was told that drink was at the root of his problems.

Defence counsel Peter Doody said Clarke was now a resident at the City Mission and had enrolled for a day programme for rehabilitation. He was drunk at the time of both offences.

In January, he was spotted hanging around the Christchurch Polytech, and took to yelling abuse and threats when the police warned him about his behaviour and moved him on.

Clarke was jailed for eight months last year, and has also successfully completed an 80-hour community work sentence.

"Given your history, that's quite an achievement," said Judge Neave.

He imposed the new 40-hour community work sentence and noted that probation was arranging an alcohol rehabilitation programme under Clarke's existing prison post-release conditions.

The Press