Inspector Greg Nicholls. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Inspector Greg Nicholls. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Burglar's shock as he bumps into dead body in dark

A BURGLAR made a shocking discovery when he stumbled upon a dead body hanging in the dark as he snooped around a house.

The burglar's terrified screams alerted neighbours to a commotion at the house in Hamilton early yesterday.

The Herald understands the burglar rang police and reported himself, in order to raise the alarm.

Police confirmed that a burglar discovered a body in a house he had broken into in Hamilton's north east.

Hamilton city area commander Inspector Greg Nicholls said officers were investigating the "very unusual" incident.

"There are two things in play there. Firstly, the deceased. That's a matter for us to investigate on behalf of the coroner and the circumstances around that. Secondly, the burglary."

Mr Nicholls said the dead person was a man. He did not know how old he was.

The inspector said he had never heard of anything like it happening in his 28 years in the police in Hamilton.

He thought the fright might give the intruder a new perspective.

"I'm hopeful that this may be a career-changing moment for that burglar. I dare say for the burglar - if we remove the criminality of what he was doing - it would be really shocking," Mr Nicholls said.

"Can you imagine what that would be like in the dark?"

Hamilton city tactical co-ordinator Senior Sergeant Freda Grace said it was "probably fairly traumatic" for the burglar.

A police source who did not want to be named said the intruder might have reported himself to avoid becoming the subject of a more-serious investigation over the dead body.

"That's why I would have rung it in," the source said.

The Herald understands the man was arrested over the alleged burglary.

It is unclear if anything was taken from the house during the incident.

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