A man has faced Griffith Local Court on Wednesday after he was found eating biscuits on the couch of a stranger's house after a night on the town.
Justin Michael Redman, 41, was charged with intentionally/recklessly destroy or damage property, and unlawful entry of enclosed land.
Redman's legal representative Piers Blomfield said on the face of it, given a somewhat lengthy criminal history, it would appear to be a "very serious matter".
However even when Magistrate Joy Boulos heard the facts, she agreed the only substantial damage done was perhaps an upsetting of "neighbour relations".
On the night January 12, a Beelbangera resident was alerted to his neighbour's alarm going off, and knowing him to be away in Sydney with his wife went to investigate.
He found Redman sitting on the couch with a packet of biscuits, nonchalantly ignoring the alarm. The latch of the glass sliding door had been forced open and broken.
There was no intention to do it... He wasn't going anywhere, just sitting on the couch eating biscuits when he was found.Magistrate Joy Boulos
Police were called and quickly formed the opinion Redman was drunk, given he was unsteady on his feet, slurring his words, and was "extremely quarrelsome".
The court heard Redman had a few drinks before attempting to make his way to a friends place, where they were going to meet.
So, thinking he was entering his friends house, helped himself to some biscuits from the cupboard, and waited for the friend to come and turn off the alarm. Only problem, he later found out, it was not his friends house.
The house owner's son was called, and initially the family wanted compensation for the broken latch.
However when police went to the house to issue a receipt, they were told Redman had already come and given $100 and two cases of beer with an apology as repayment, which was accepted.
Mr Blomfield argued for a non-conviction, saying a conviction wouldn't be considered for someone with a lesser criminal history.
Magistrate Boulos took the circumstances into consideration, and said it was indeed at the lower end of objective seriousness, however had to convict for the trespass charge.
"There was no intention to do it... He wasn't going anywhere, just sitting on the couch eating biscuits when he was found," Magistrate Boulos said.
"Mr Redman, alcohol seems to be a problem for you," she also noted.
She gave no conviction for the damaging property charge and gave a conditional release order for 12 months. He was convicted for the trespass charge however, and received a $100 fine.
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