Teen arsonist told to pay up

An 18-year-old Timaru man will have to pay $40,000 in reparation after an August arson.

Christopher William Shand-Ennis was sentenced yesterday in the Timaru District Court on two charges of intentional damage and one each of attempted arson and arson.

Between 3.30am and 4am on August 26 last year, Shand-Ennis stood by as one of his associates screwed up sandpaper and put it against the tyres of a tractor parked at the CBay aquatic centre construction site at Maori Park.

After several attempts to set it alight a small fire started, but it burnt itself out. Shand-Ennis and another offender then began throwing rocks and broke the tractor's windows. The three offenders carried on to Park View Tce where they came across a horizontal directional drill being used to lay fibre-optic cable.

All three associates tried to set it alight by lighting the canvas and fibre-glass. Eventually it was engulfed in flames. The machine, with a replacement value of $293,000, was destroyed.

The owner, Under and Out Drilling, also claimed $48,000 in lost income.

Judge Joanna Maze noted Shand-Ennis had worked for a week with the construction company that owned the tractor, in order to make amends, but had performed poorly.

"Your performance has left something of a bad taste in the manager's mouth . . . You all then, somewhat shabbily, blamed each other for the offending."

He was ordered to pay $40,000 reparation, the same amount as another co-offender already sentenced. He was also sentenced to nine months' home detention and 100 hours' community work.

The Timaru Herald