Western Leader : February 15th 2011
www.westernleader.co.nz Tuesday, February 15, 2011 OPEN DAY MARCH 2 BOARDING AVAILABLE for Boys & Girls BR - j5765/02 UCKPV MGPVKIGTP EQNNGIG SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE - APPLICATIONS CLOSE 6 APRIL Register to attend 09 577 0677 www.saintkentigern.com Intruder fought off By STEPHEN FORBES Close call: Roy Lilley says an encounter with an intruder was the last thing he expected after going to the school to catch up on paperwork. Photo: STEPHEN FORBES PRINCIPAL Roy Lilley was expecting a quiet day catch- ing up on some paperwork when he clocked in at Bruce McLaren Intermediate on Waitangi Day. Instead he was attacked by an intruder armed with a claw hammer. Mr Lilley went into work at 10.30am and heard banging in the office half an hour later. He thought it might be another teacher but it was an intruder. When I looked into the office there was a young man standing there,'' he says. He was a bit taller than me -- about 1.7 metres. He had a blue bandanna covering his face and a multi-coloured towel over his head.'' Mr Lilley tried to talk the youth into giving himself up but the man attempted to escape. We ended up having a bit of a wrestling match in the corridor,'' he says. I got him to calm down and got him back in the office,'' Mr Lilley says. But then he came at me with a claw hammer.'' Mr Lilley says the offender swung it at him but missed, digging it into the counter. The principal then picked up a nearby rubbish bin and fended his attacker off. I got him talking and then he decided to make a run for it.''Mr Lilley tried to pursue him but tripped and injured himself. He says the offender fled the school into Silverstone Place and Hindmarsh Green -- an adjoining park. It appears the young man broke in through the associ- ate principal's office. Mr Lilley says he has faced more serious threats before. He grew up in Northern Ireland and ran a youth cen- tre in a tough neighbourhood there. I've talked down guys with guns in Belfast,'' he says. Mr Lilley took over as the principal at Bruce McLaren Intermediate in April last year and says this attack is the last thing he needs. I'm trying to build the public's confidence in the school.'' Detective sergeant Eugene Pickett from the Henderson CIB says there have been a few school burglaries in the area and he's keen to catch the offender. He says the intruder was a male Polynesian aged between 15 and 17 with an athletic build and short- cropped curly hair. He had a backpack with Nike written on it in large red block lettering. West Auckland Principals Association president Mike Gardner hasn't heard of any other violent attacks in the area. It's an unfortunate inci- dent. It's not pleasant and it's certainly not acceptable,'' he says. Contact Mr Pickett from the Henderson CIB on 839-0653 or call the anonymous Crimestoppers hotline on 0800-555-111 if you can help police with inquiries.
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