A man who burst a water pipe in a police cell with his fist has been ordered to pay for the damage.

Leighton Hirini Manuka pleaded guilty to intentional damage when he appeared in the Whanganui District Court on Tuesday.

Manuka had been picked up by Police on the afternoon of February 28 where he had been standing on his street yelling at neighbours.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Drew Morrison said later at the Police cell Manuka repeatedly hit the pipe of a water sprinkler with his fist until it ruptured, causing the fire alarm to go off and the cell to flood with water.

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Judge Philip Crayton ordered Manuka to pay $445 in reparation for the damage.

"You know that what you did that day was just out of order basically. And it's going to cost you," he said.

"You were clearly in a bad space on that day and you probably realise that you are going to be in a power of trouble if you repeat it."