Fidgety on the roof
By Ken Sapwell
A music teacher held his student at bay with a samurai sword after their relationship hit a sour note, Tweed Heads Local Court heard yesterday.
The roof-top stand-off occurred after student Joel Lyle, 20, tried to retrieve his $600 guitar which he suspected was in his teacher's possession.
Police say he broke into his teacher's Bilambil Heights home, but when he was unable to locate the guitar he decided to steal some property to hold as collateral against the instrument's return.
The goods included three ornamental daggers, three samurai swords, a laptop computer, a stereo and DVD worth a total of $4000.
But according to the police facts, the teacher happened to be home at the time of the burglary on September 10 and was alerted by strange noises.
When he went to investigate, Lyle hid inside the premises until attempting to exit from the same upstairs window which he used to break in.
Police said Lyle made it out of the window and onto a verandah roof when he was spotted by the victim.
"The victim made the accused stay on the roof by threatening him with a samurai sword," police said.
"There was a lot of yelling and shouting and police were eventually called."
Lyle, of Korora, told the court through his solicitor that he and the victim had been longtime friends, but the relationship soured over the missing guitar.
Every time he asked for the return of the guitar he was fobbed off with a range of excuses.
"He was seeking in an immature way to obtain leverage to get his guitar back," his solicitor said.
Lyle also alleged that his car suffered $2000 worth of damage when the victim attacked it with a samurai sword on the same day.
Magistrate Jeff Linden said it was clear that Lyle's actions were motivated by the missing guitar.
Lyle had expressed contrition and had an unblemished record before the incident.
He found the offence proved and placed Lyle on an 18-month good behaviour bond on a charge of break, entering and stealing.