15 Mar 2018

'Dumb' pizza prankster gets last laugh

8:10 pm on 15 March 2018

A Timaru man's conviction for prank-ordering a pizza has been overturned, because of an investigatory 'trick' used by police.

no caption

Photo: RNZ / Kate Newton

In a High Court judgement released yesterday, Justice Davidson said the victim of the prank, who'd had other prank orders arrive at her home in the past, provided the police with the cellphone number from which the pizza order was made.

A police officer tried calling the number several times but the phone calls went unanswered.

The officer then sent a text to the number saying the person was the winner of two movie passes and requesting a name and address to send them to.

Timaru man Richard Arthur James Crawford replied to the message but when the officer went to his home to speak to him, he initially denied making the pizza orders.

"Then the sergeant said he was 'the Movie Max guy', whereupon the appellant slapped his head, said, 'I'm so dumb', accompanied the sergeant to the station, and made a full confession," Justice Davidson said.

Justice Davidson overturned Mr Crawford's conviction, finding the evidence was improperly obtained and the officer had probably committed an offence because the text message involved "a fictitious representation".

Read the full judgement here.