Man threatened to blow up police

17:00, Apr 18 2014

A heartbroken Hamilton engineer who threatened to blow himself and several police officers up with a homemade bomb has avoided jail.

Richard Paul Greenland had broken up with his partner of seven years, his engineering business was slowly deteriorating and he'd turned to drugs.

A police visit to the 31-year-old's house sparked a large police response on October 28, last year.

Greenland had been sleeping in his garage and while speaking to police became agitated, picked up a knife and told the officers to leave.

He then grabbed a fire extinguisher, which he had earlier modified to contain CO2 and petrol and threatened to light it, before lighting a torch and holding the flame close.

Greenland told officers it had the ability to fire fuel up to 40 metres.


The officers left and after speaking to a police negotiator later that evening, an officer returned.

However, again, Greenland held the extinguisher with a heat torch and threatened to use it.

He eventually handed it over and admitted modifying it to be capable of being used as an explosive.

The next day, officers returned to arrest Greenland and he again became agitated and began chanting the officer's identification numbers saying he was going to kill them.

In January this year, Greenland was stopped by police and found in possession of a methamphetamine pipe and cannabis leaf.

He denied owning either.

During sentencing in the Hamilton District Court last week, Judge Chris McGuire accepted Greenland's lawyer Annabel Cresswel's submission that her client was in a psychotic episode.

"It's all something of a tragedy for you, you are a qualified engineer and had a successful business but with the failure of your relationship, that folded and you are using seriously bad drugs, methamphetamine.

"And it's little wonder that you were in this drug-induced psychotic phase. That of course is no excuse or makes you less responsible for your offending."

In sentencing Greenland to nine months' home detention, Judge McGuire urged him to try and turn his life around.

"Mr Greenland, regrettably relationships do end in less than ideal circumstances, plenty of other people have to face that and businesses also fail for related reasons . . . you are plainly an intelligent man who has very enviable qualifications and skills and the challenge for you is to pick up your life and get on with it and make a success of things."

Judge McGuire said it was known that P was a "pathway to nowhere".

"A pathway to oblivion, frankly." the judge said. 

Waikato Times