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 June 17.

The trapped 18-year old was freezing, in pain, and yelled for help.

A member of the public passing the takeaway joint on Langdons Rd, Papanui at about 2.30am heard his cries and phoned emergency services.


After several hours, Wrathall was rescued and hospitalised for four days with crush injuries, a kidney problem, and hypothermia.

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, he said.

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 of alcohol."

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 this again."

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".