Drink-driver admits ripping up Burnside Park

November 27, 2017 | By More

A drink-driver faces a $1644 damage bill after admitting ripping up the playing fields at Burnside Park.

Thomas Liam Carruth, a 20-year-old steel worker from St Albans, says he has the money available and will be able to pay for the damage to the fields when he is sentenced on February 2.

Christchurch District Court Judge Alistair Garland said a community detention sentence would be considered after Carruth admitted charges of intentionally damaging the sports fields, driving with excess breath-alcohol, and causing a sustained loss of traction – deliberately sliding the car.

Police said the incident took place at 11.25am on August 4 when Carruth was with two associates in his car at Burnside Park. The fields belong to the Burnside Cricket Club and are used for junior soccer at that time of year.

Carruth drove all over the fields for 15 to 20min, revving the engine and causing deep gouges in the sodden ground. The park had to be closed for several weeks and sports fixtures had to be rescheduled.

Carruth was found afterwards and a police test showed he had a level of 659mcg of alcohol to a litre of breath. The legal limit is 250mcg.

Judge Garland asked for a pre-sentence report on Carruth, to assess him to community detention and any other sentence that might be recommended.

Defence counsel Phil Shamy explained that Carruth had funds available and would be able to pay for the damage. The police did not oppose his bail release on pending sentencing.


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