Jail for role in police attack

A Dargaville man has been jailed for 13 months for his role in a brutal attack on two police officers on Christmas Day.

Stewart Anthony Tahere, 27, appeared in the Dargaville District Court yesterday, having pleaded guilty to charges of assaulting a police officer and escaping police custody.

The incident occurred when a single police officer visited a Tirarau address in response to a wilful damage complaint.

The court heard Tahere became aggressive with the officer after a 20 year-old was arrested at the address.

The officer was then encircled and he and another officer who came to help, were attacked.

One officer was knocked out and the second was kicked in the head while protecting his colleague.

It is alleged a woman used a brick as a weapon, and also tried to shoot an officer with his own Taser gun.

Judge Greg Davis handed down a 13 month concurrent prison term to Tahere for the two charges, adding a further 6 months - three months' on a non-related dangerous driving charge and three months for a charge of driving while disqualified.

The Crown prosecutor David Stevens and Tahere's lawyer John Day agreed that while Tahere had not actually physically assaulted the officer, he had by his actions incited the attack which hospitalised the two police officers.

Mr Day said Tahere knew he had done wrong, and was very remorseful. He handed up letters of apology from the defendant and argued that Tahere had no previous convictions for violence.

Judge Davis said he accepted that Tahere didn't lay a hand on the officers, but said his actions caused others to set on the two constables.

The judge also noted the offending was aggravated by the fact Tahere was already on bail on the driving charges and for wilful damage of a police cell when the attack occurred.

- Northern Advocate

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