Men sentenced for 'taser torture'

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Three men appeared at Napier District Court yesterday for sentencing on charges related to the 'taser torture'.
Three men appeared at Napier District Court yesterday for sentencing on charges related to the 'taser torture'.

A Napier man was tasered more than 30 times in an attack plotted from a cellblock by a prison inmate intent on silencing a witness in a court case.

The full extent of the attack was revealed as three men appeared yesterday for Napier District Court sentencing on charges related to the events which happened in late 2014.

The inmate, 32-year-old Depak Hanara, was sentenced to six years and six months, taser-man Teariki Tavare Tamoe, 44, to three years and six months, and third offender David Ross Otter, also 44, was remanded in continued custody for sentencing tomorrow.

The three men had denied charges relating to the plot and attack but a jury found them guilty at a trial in November.

While pleading guilty to charges of sending a threatening letter and attempting to pervert the course of justice by trying to coerce a witness into making a false statement or not giving evidence, Hanara had denied charges of aggravated burglary, having entered the complainant's flat while armed with a shank, and of unlawful possession of the weapon.

He and Otter denied conspiring to pervert the course of justice, Otter and Tamoe had denied unlawfully detaining the complainant, and conspiring to pervert the course of justice, and Tamoe had denied two charges of assaulting the complainant with intent to injure, one with Otter as a party, which Otter had also denied. Hanara was in jail in October 2014 when he wrote a threatening letter to the complainant.

On November 5, immediately after being released, Hanara went to the complainant's Napier flat armed with the shank. Fortunately the complainant was at work.

Hanara was returned to jail when police learnt of it. Hanara then got fellow inmate Otter to help him get off the charges by dissuading the complainant.

Tamoe lured the victim to and address and tasered him "well in excess of 30 times" as Otter stood by and watched.

Judge Geoff Rea said yesterday it was an act to bring the complainant to a "precarious" position if he did not do what the men told him to. "This was torturing for effect and this is what you were engaged in."

Last week, two men were jailed for another attempt to silence a complainant in another plot hatched from prison and using a prison phone.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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