A judge has apologised for chuckling during the sentencing of
a chip shop burglar who was caught after becoming trapped in
an extraction vent.
Porou Tyman Lypton Wrathall's bungled burglary clogged the
arteries of the Christchurch chip shop in the early hours of
The trapped 18-year old was freezing, in pain, and yelled for
A member of the public passing the takeaway joint on Langdons
Rd, Papanui at about 2.30am heard his cries and phoned
After several hours, Wrathall was rescued and hospitalised
for four days with crush injuries, a kidney problem, and
The construction industry student earlier admitted one charge
of burglary at Christchurch District Court.
Defence counsel Donald Dickson said Wrathall was drunk at the
time of his "quite ridiculous action".
But he has abstained since and does not have a drink problem,
Judge Stan Thorburn apologised to Mr Dickson for struggling
to contain his amusement at the case.
"When I chuckle, I hope he [Wrathall] realises it's not with
derision. It's such an ironical situation," the judge said.
"It's a rather embarrassing lesson to learn about the effects
Judge Thorburn convicted him and suspended the sentence for
12 months, in order for him to be of good behaviour.
"I doubt he would be stupid enough to be in a situation like
But there had to be "consequences for this idiocy", the judge
said, and ordered him to pay $1563.35 in reparation to the
chip shop owners.
He also ordered him to pay $200 to police, who "have better
things to do than get blokes like you out of pipes".