Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Not burglary?

19 Responses

  • Matthew Poole,

    You're assuming this was an unintended consequence.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Is "intent" to break the bottle/glass thingy a magic word? If you "accidentally" drop it then does that take the intent away?

    Hmm...does "placing" an empty bottle on the ground - without breaking it - in a public place take away the intent?

    Forget it. Previous section has "deposit" in it.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    What's an "enclosed yard"? You suggested previously it was mostly an industrial premise or building site, rather than a residential garden?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    What’s an “enclosed yard”? You suggested previously it was mostly an industrial premise or building site, rather than a residential garden?

    Those are common examples where the offence is used, Adams on Criminal Law notes:

    In order to be “enclosed” it is not essential that the area be completely surrounded by fences, walls, or buildings, so that access may be had only through a door or a gate. There may be open spaces on the perimeter, it then being a question of degree whether the area is sufficiently surrounded by barriers that it can more reasonably be regarded as “enclosed” rather than “open”

    A garden may fall within this, but will not necessarily.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    It's not OK to do what these kids did, but it's way low down on the list of crimes. Sounds like about half an hour's work to clean up, comparable to graffiti, less serious than breaking a window. I'm surprised the police bothered to look into it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • bbrooks,

    The type of people that own holiday homes don't take well to low level crimes and minor inconveniences not being investigated when they are the victim

    Melbourne • Since Nov 2013 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to bbrooks,

    It's probably more to do with them having footage, which does mean it's possible to make some progress.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Darlington,

    This type of person who doesn't and isn't ever likely to own a holiday home doesn't like low-level crimes not being investigated when I'm the victim either. The number of people who really don't mind a bunch of pissed wankers trashing their place would not be a large one, I expect. I can appreciate the principle that this kind of carry-on shouldn't be classed as burglary, but the schadenfreude of watching one of these misanthropes facing that charge would be a sore temptation...

    Since Nov 2006 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    An element of that offence is that you have to be “found” on the property, and it appears these students weren’t

    Graeme, what are the legal boundaries of 'found'? Your post implies that they have to be physically caught in the act on the property. If there was camera phone footage, CCTV, or similar available that clearly showed they'd been there, would that fall inside or outside the definition?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to bbrooks,

    The type of people that own holiday homes don’t take well to low level crimes and minor inconveniences not being investigated when they are the victim

    Probably of no real consequence when it comes to finer points of law, but a surprising (to me) number of Queenstown 'homes' appear to be owned by corporates, for presumably business-related recreational purposes.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Graeme, what are the legal boundaries of ‘found’? Your post implies that they have to be physically caught in the act on the property. If there was camera phone footage, CCTV, or similar available that clearly showed they’d been there, would that fall inside or outside the definition?

    The commentary I looked up gave no mention of video, but I would probably say that if someone was watching the camera feed live, that would be enough. However, it was clear that someone admitting they had been on the property was not enough (for a confession to be enough, they'd have to admit being seen). It doesn't have to go as far as being caught, but you have to be perceived to be there. I suspect being overheard talking by someone in a neighbouring property would be enough, even if they don't see you.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    I would like to know your personal and legal opinion of pet killers?

    I have been involved in a situation ongoing now for me for 3 months. After I was asked to look after a neighbours cats while they were away, and the cats suddenly disappeared. I found one of them in another neighbours rubbish bag acting on a tip from a now ex-friend of this neighbour. It has come to light that these people have been killing cats indiscriminately for over 16 years now.
    Sure they get the odd feral but they live in the suburbs not away from people with pets. And over that time peoples pets have disappeared with no explanation. They are supposedly respected members of the community so getting police or the SPCA to take it seriously has been a real battle. And they are getting away with blaming other people and their story seems to be being believed by the police. It is an incredibly frustrating situation. And the recent public spouting of Gareth Morgan on the subject seems to have given them more justification for their actions.
    Nothing to do with burglary I know...

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    The commentary I looked up gave no mention of video

    From the Herald

    Security cameras which cover the property were reviewed.
    Sergeant Steve Watt, of Queenstown, said yesterday 11 youths from Queenstown's sole secondary school had been identified from the video footage and social media where one of the alleged offenders posted photographs of their activities at the property.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Still a bit of a gap from there to being able to use it in court, but.

    Thanks for the reply, Graeme.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    The commentary I looked up gave no mention of video

    The *legal* commentary I looked up to find out what case law says "found" means gave no mention of whether being caught on security cameras counted as being found. My guess, based on other cases described, is that it would not be enough, but that if the cameras were being monitored live, that a court might well find that was sufficient.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Still a bit of a gap from there to being able to use it in court, but.

    No. This could easily be used in a prosecution in respect of a prosecution for any charge these boys might face. I'm just suggested that it wouldn't provide evidence that they were "found" on the property, which is an element of the offence being discussed by police.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Yes, that's what I meant: 'still a bit of a gap from there to being able to use it in court [as falling within a definition of 'found']'.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Gregor Ronald,

    I used to live in a holiday town in Otago, and these holiday-home break-ins by local kids came in cycles. (I know this lot didn't go inside, but anyway...) Usually they got caught by the cops, the school became involved, and the kids were publicly shamed at a school assembly. (With the approval of their parents.) All the kids in the school got the message and the problem went away, until 4 or 5 years had passed and a new crop of Year 9-13 kids grew up. Then the cycle was repeated.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The type of people that own holiday homes don’t take well to low level crimes and minor inconveniences not being investigated when they are the victim

    I suspect the police have paid a bit more attention to this case because the victim is a prominent NZer.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

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