Teen took parked digger

Court House-doorwayA teenager has narrowly avoided a long remand in custody after admitting taking a parked excavator and drink-driving in it.

Eighteen-year-old Malachi Shaune Thomas Brocket said he had driven the digger a few metres into the driveway of a nearby property as a dare by friends at a party, after starting it using a pair of scissors.

He admitted having drunk 10 Woodstock pre-mix bourbon bottles. A police check showed his level was 400mcg of alcohol to a litre of breath – well above the zero alcohol level for under-20s.

Brocket appeared before Christchurch District Court Judge Brian Callaghan and admitted two drink-driving charges and unlawfully taking the excavator. His driving licence has now been suspended till November for excess demerit points.

Judge Callaghan said he was considering whether to remand Brocket in custody for sentence in December.

Brocket has recently completed a community detention sentence imposed after he admitted being part of a group that carried out a series of street robberies in Riccarton. He is still completing his community work sentence on Saturdays and Sundays.

Defence counsel Elizabeth Bulger said there had evidently been a relapse into bad behaviour after Brocket completed the community detention sentence. Brocket appeared to be “a good young man except when he gets intoxicated”.

He was now living with his mother and her partner, and had work as a roofer. If he was on bail, he could begin on courses to deal with his alcohol issue.

Judge Callaghan said that it might have been expected that Brocket would have learned a lesson after completing a sentence on serious charges. He accepted that driving the digger was a prank.

He remanded Brocket on bail to December 6 for sentence, and ordered a probation report, and an alcohol and drug assessment. While on bail, Brocket will have to live at his mother’s home, abide by a curfew, not drive, and not use alcohol or illegal drugs.

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