Judge tells man to 'sleep with phone taped to his head'

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Matthew Lynch was told by a judge not to miss anymore probation appointments
Matthew Lynch was told by a judge not to miss anymore probation appointments

A man on community detention was told to tape his cellphone to the side of his head, rather than miss a night-time probation call.

Matthew Lynch, 18, pleaded guilty at Masterton District Court today to breaching his community detention sentence by being away from the property.

In a later, separate incident, Lynch did not answer the door when security staff came to check he was home.

The offence that had brought Lynch to court - and to which he had pleaded guilty - had involved being away from the property during the time of his electronic curfew.

However the court probation officer said since the initial offence, probation had been closely monitoring Lynch's compliance with his sentence, and this had gone well - until late on the night before his court appearance, when he failed to answer the door for an unscheduled check.

The officer said a staff member had been unable to get an answer at the door, although the monitoring system showed the bracelet was on the property.

A condition of Lynch's sentence had been to answer the door when checked upon.

The staff member had called Lynch's cellphone, but it had not been answered.

Judge Barbara Morris asked Morris to check his cellphone for a record of the call, and had stood him down to enable him to do so.

On Lynch's return to the dock his lawyer, Frank Minehan, said there was a record of a "missed call" at 1.30am, but that Lynch had been home and had not heard the phone.

Judge Morris told Lynch he needed have his cellphone "turned up as loud as you can".

"Sleep with it sellotaped to the side of your head if you have to; if you get a call, then you must respond to that."

The judge convicted Lynch of the earlier breach of community detention, and sentenced him to a further month of community detention, to be served when the first sentence has finished.

The probation service withdrew an application to review the community detention, which was initially imposed for charges including car conversion and theft from a motor vehicle, wilful damage and possessing an offensive weapon.

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