Armed thug threatens crippled man

By Michele McPherson

A Tauranga man armed with a sawn-off rifle went to the home of a man in a wheelchair to tell him he had orders from   the Mongrel Mob to shoot him and take all his property.
Aaron Hohepa Taikato, 27, of Oropi pleaded guilty in Tauranga District Court yesterday  to one count of aggravated burglary as his jury trial was set to start.
He was remanded in custody pending sentencing on June 25.
The Crown summary of facts revealed that on June 4, 2008, Taikato went to the Tauranga address of the victim who was paralysed from the chest down.
He was carrying a bolt-action.22 calibre rifle, which was cut down to a length of 300 - 400mm long, concealed in a sweatshirt hidden under his arm.
After telling the victim he wanted to go inside to have a talk, the pair went inside the man's bedroom. Removing the cut-down rifle from the sweat shirt, Taikato pointed it at the victim's chest holding it about two metres away, and began manipulating the bolt action of the firearm attempting to load a round in the chamber.
Taikato  threatened to shoot the victim and take his things.
When the victim asked him to explain why he was doing this, Taikato said that he had orders from higher up in the Mongrel Mob and the victim had to pay some sort of koha.
When the man's daughter opened the bedroom door and saw what was happening, Taikato told her  to go away, saying "This is mob business" and she ran screaming and yelling to the kitchen. Taikato yelled down the hall to others in the house to shut up and stay away. He then returned to the bedroom with the rifle and eventually walked back to his vehicle parked in the driveway and drove off.
When Taikato was spoken to by police,  he stated he was angry that the victim was selling drugs to kids and wanted him to stop him selling any more drugs.
Taikato's legal counsel Gerald McArthur told Judge Louis Bidois  his client's instructions were to seek a home detention appendix with the pre-sentence report.
But Judge Bidois told Taikato there was no point as he was looking at a sentence outside that range.
"Obviously an aggravating burglary involving taking a firearm to a victim's house and presenting it is serious offending," Judge Bidois said.
"If I call for a home detention appendix Mr Taikato, I will only be giving you a false sense of hope so I am not going to do so."

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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