Man appears in court after armed police operation

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Rawden "Big Boy" Yates.
Rawden "Big Boy" Yates.

A man arrested after an armed police operation in the Far North on Wednesday has appeared in court.

Rawden James Yates, 35, from Kaitaia, was remanded in custody to appear in the High Court at Whangarei on April 28 when he made a brief appearance before a JP in the Kaitaia District yesterday.

Yates, also known as "Big Boy" was arrested without incident after armed officers descended on properties around the Karikari Peninsula on Wednesday.

No application was made for bail yesterday and no pleas were entered on charges of attempted murder, in Kaitaia's Archibald St on February 12; aggravated robbery and kidnapping, in Doubtless Bay, December 14; unlawful possession of a firearm on February 18; threatening to kill and assault with a firearm on March 18; and unlawful possession of a firearm on March 23.

Twenty-four-year-old Marama Pickering, Kaitaia, also appeared, and was remanded in custody to appear in the High Court at Whangarei on April 21 on three charges of aiding and abetting Yates.

Both are expected to apply for bail in the High Court, counsel Richard Parangi saying he had provided police with a bail address, which had yet to be checked.

The court was closed for the defendants' appearances, on the grounds of security. Members of several families, including missing man Kimble Taipo Moore's, gathered outside the court.

Mr Parangi lodged an objection to the closing of the court, however, on behalf of the defendants' families, describing the order as "unconventional at the very least."

- Northern Advocate

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