Stuck burglar must pay $1563 for damage

Papanui Police signA bungling teen burglar will have to pay $1563 for the damage he caused by getting stuck in a fish and chip shop’s extractor vent.

Judge Stan Thorburn made the order at today’s Christchurch District Court sentencing of Porou Tyman Lypton Wrathall.

The judge chuckled when he saw photographs of the predicament Wrathall had got himself into.

Wrathall, 18, a student, pleaded guilty to the charge of burglary two weeks ago, and was remanded for a pre-sentence report, and for the reparation bill to be sorted out.

Wrathall had to be cut out of the vent after becoming stuck and calling for help, which alerted the neighbours. He was admitted to hospital suffering from hypothermia after hours in the vent, and from crush injuries that caused problems for his kidneys from being wedged in.

Defence counsel Donald Dickson said Wrathall accepted he was drunk when the incident occurred at the fish and chip shop in Langdons Road, Papanui, about 1am on June 17. He had spent four days in hospital afterwards.

Judge Thorburn said he only chuckled because he saw the situation as ironical.

“I doubt he would be stupid enough to be involved in a situation like this again. It is a rather embarrassing lesson to learn about the effects of alcohol.”

He decided to convict Wrathall and order him to come up for sentence if called upon within 12 months, as well as paying the $1563 repair costs and $200 for the police’s costs involved in rescuing him.

“The police have got better things to do than get blokes like you out of pipes,” he said. “I hope you have got enough stuff in your cranium to work out what’s going on here – we don’t want to see you back here again.”

The original claim for reparations had been $8800 but Mr Dickson said that figure was “way out of line with anything that would have been proper”. It is understood the original figure included losses for the time the shop had to be closed for repairs. The police came up with the lower figure of $1563 before sentencing.

Wrathall has no previous criminal record.


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