Christchurch engineer who hosted drug-fuelled party that led to death of US polo star Lauren Biddle jailed

A Christchurch engineer who hosted a drug-fuelled party that led to the death of US polo star Lauren Biddle has been sentenced to prison.

Joseph McGirr claimed he was creating a shrine when he buried the dead woman's clothes - but he was later found guilty of perverting the course of justice.

He also admitted two charges of cultivating cannabis and was sentenced to 20 months' prison at the Christchurch District Court on Friday.

Judge Tom Gilbert started Friday's proceedings by paying tribute to Biddle. The 22-year-old   died of a likely drug overdose in McGirr's spa pool during a party in 2018.

Following Biddle's death, McGirr buried her clothes down a steep bank near his house. He claimed he was making a shrine and watched her spirit lift. 

He also ripped out seven cannabis plants and tried to clean up the evidence.

At the time of the offending McGirr was already serving a previous sentence of community detention. 

"There was a real sense of arrogance to your actions; sitting in a spa pool with your mates, wearing your electronic ankle bracelet, growing drugs, drinking, smoking drugs, snorting drugs, and not giving a second thought to the sentence that you were supposed to be serving," Judge Gilbert said.

Just two weeks ago, McGirr again breached his bail conditions by consuming alcohol.

"When the police arrived shortly after 2am you were seen running naked down the hallway you then disappeared off the property," said Judge Gilbert.

The Judge summed up McGirr's actions on the night Biddle died, saying he showed little remorse and that he was more concerned with the police being at his property.

McGirr was granted leave to apply for home detention but only to an alcohol rehabilitation centre.