A Napier man caused hundreds of dollars worth of damage when he ripped up a school field doing burnouts.

Zackery Sinclair Knox, 18, appeared in Hastings District court yesterday before Judge Tony Adeane.

He pleaded guilty to intentional damage by "ripping up" Hereworth School sports field doing burnouts in a car.

Knox was sentenced to 40 hours' community work and ordered to pay $800 reparation for the damage he caused.

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Last year, between 10.30pm on Saturday, September 12, and 5am the following day Knox drove a car to the school which claims on its website to be "one of New Zealand's premier private, preparatory schools".

Knox drove the Mitsubishi onto the school grounds and paused on the sport field.

A police statement said Knox then turned off the car's headlights before he "started to skid and rip up the field with the vehicle".

The statement said he continued to do this for about 15 minutes, "causing serious damage to the school grounds".

Knox was looking to start a course in the future and this was the first time he had appeared before the courts, Judge Adeane was told.

Hereworth School is located in Havelock North and caters for both day and boarding school boys between the ages of five and 13. Hereworth School could not be reached for comment yesterday.