Finest news story of the year so far
Cradock, an orchard worker, later called back to reassure the police operator that he was all right.
"I’ll retract the rape complaint from the wombat, because he’s pulled out. Apart from speaking Australian now, I’m pretty all right you know. I didn’t hurt my bum at all."
He pleaded guilty in Nelson District Court to using a phone for a fictitious purpose and was sentenced to 75 hours’ community work.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Chris Stringer told the court that alcohol played a large role in Cradock’s life.
Judge Richard Russell said he was not sure what had motivated Cradock to make the extraordinary claim.
In sentencing Cradock, he warned him not to do it again.