Van damage a ‘dumb decision’

A teenager who smashed the windscreen of a police van during rowdy student celebrations had a succinct explanation for his actions.

“I made a dumb decision,” Daniel Moore (19) told the Dunedin District Court yesterday.

“I just jumped on it.”

The defendant committed the crime during the drunken mayhem in Castle St during “Flo Week” — the first week back for those living in flats.

Moore explained he was not a student in Dunedin, but had come to down to party with friends who were.

He lived in Auckland and when police arrested him on Monday — two days after the incident — they discovered a warrant was out for his arrest.

Moore had missed an Auckland District Court appearance on another charge and spent Monday night in the police cells.

The duty lawyer, Max Winders, said that the defendant had learned “something of a lesson”.

“It was a new and novel experience and one he doesn’t want to repeat,” Mr Winders said.

According to court documents, Moore was among revellers in Castle St at 10.10pm where police were “maintaining order”.

“The defendant had thrown his body into the front windscreen ... causing the window to smash,” a police summary said.

CCTV captured the act and police eventually tracked Moore down before his flight home yesterday afternoon.

Judge Michael Crosbie did not convict the man on the charge of intentional damage, leaving the possibility of diversion open.

But he stressed Moore was playing a dangerous game missing his court dates.

“You need to take these things a little more seriously for when you turn up,” he said.

Moore would appear in the Auckland District Court tomorrow, “that’s two sleeps”, the judge reminded him.

rob.kidd@odt.co.nz