Home Detention Monitoring Equipment Thrown out Window at Party

Tauranga -- A Tauranga man celebrated his release from home detention too early -- and ended up back in court.

Mark James Hamlin was supposed to finish his home detention tomorrow but decided to celebrate last Friday.

Hamlin had been serving an eight-month sentence for a drink- driving charge . He was visited by probation officers last Thursday and signed papers to have the monitoring equipment removed from his Greerton home tomorrow.

To celebrate his release, Hamlin held a party.

But events took an unfortunate turn when an over-enthusiastic guest threw the monitoring equipment out the window of the house.

The gear works by a radio system in which an anklet on the prisoner sends signals to a receiver, which alerts authorities if the anklet moves too far away without permission.

But this case was different because it was the receiver which moved too far away.

After being tossed out the window, it alerted Chubb, the security firm that monitors people on home detention.

Defence counsel Paul Devoy asked Judge Robert Wolff if Hamlin could be convicted and discharged for breaking the terms of his home detention.

In his defence, Hamlin said he had nothing to do with the incident and only found out about the window-toss when the security guards turned up at his house.

He went on to say he had problems with alcohol ``and I guess I just lost it''.

Judge Wolff accepted Hamlin was prepared to seek help for his drinking and sentenced him to 40 hours community work.