Time served for Taranaki burglar who broke into house to eat Weetbix and rest on victims’ bed

Mark William Callwood broke into a house and made a bowl of Weetbix, tried on the victims’ clothes, and lay on their bed.

A burglary that played out in the dead of night in a quiet, residential area reads like a twisted retelling of the well-known fairy tale, Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

But in this story it was a man suffering delusions who smashed his way into the home of his victims before eating their Weetbix, lying in their bed and trying on their underwear.

It was 12am on December 31 last year when Mark William Callwood grabbed a rock and used it to break a window at the New Plymouth property.

The 65-year-old entered the home and began going through the victims’ cupboards, throwing multiple clothing items over the floor, the New Plymouth District Court heard on Thursday.


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He picked out a pair of shorts, underwear, and a t-shirt. After putting on the victims’ clothes he headed to the kitchen where he made himself a bowl of Weetbix.

Callwood then took the breakfast cereal to a bedroom where he rested on a bed, ate the Weetbix and smoked several cigarettes.

But his illicit stay soon came to an end as a 16-year-old girl arrived home and disturbed Callwood, who then got up and left the house.

Callwood appeared in the New Plymouth District Court on Thursday.  Photo / Tara Shaskey
Callwood appeared in the New Plymouth District Court on Thursday. Photo / Tara Shaskey

The police were called and a short time later he was found by a dog unit, hiding in a nearby women’s public toilet.


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In court, Callwood appeared via audio-visual link from Whanganui Prison where he has been in custody since his arrest.

He was facing a charge of burglary by night, to which he pleaded guilty.

Judge Tony Greig said Callwood had been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and was compliant with his medication.

“So compliant that he is not subject to a community treatment order,” the judge said.

“But occasionally he ingests illegal substances and at that point, things become pear-shaped for him – that’s what happened on this occasion.”

Callwood addressed Judge Greig to say that he was suffering a delusion when he broke into the victims’ home.

He said it wasn’t until the teenage girl arrived home that he snapped out of it and realized the reality of his actions.

However, a report prepared under the Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act 2003 found Callwood was fit to stand trial and did not have an insanity defence.

Judge Greig said that while the admitted charge might usually attract an 18-month to two-year jail term, he was satisfied that was not appropriate in this case.

Callwood was instead sentenced to two months’ imprisonment which would see him released immediately, given the time he had already served while in custody.


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No release conditions were imposed and the judge confirmed Callwood, who has a history of transient living, knew where to access the mental health services in Whanganui, if he chose not to return to Taranaki.

“I’ll find out soon,” he said.


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