Lockett anti-establishment and proud of it

By Patrick Gower

Whether it is proved right or wrong, Jamie Beattie Lockett will wear the title "terror suspect" with pride.

It sits nicely alongside his boasts of being "the most trespassed man in New Zealand" or "84 arrests but 79 walk-aways".

Lockett has been at war with the police for years. He goads officers, they arrest him on disorder-related charges. It goes to court, he defends himself - and as his record shows, quite often beats them. Lockett will then take a private prosecution against the officers he claims have wronged him. It is a routine that has made him a regular fixture in the courts.

But the latest battle in Lockett's war has gone up a level with police threatening to use the powerful Terrorism Suppression Act against him, alleging he was involved in paramilitary training camps and in possession of firearms.

The 46-year-old stands apart from his 15 co-accused because he does not have an underpinning philosophy.

Those who know Lockett say he is no anarchist or Maori activist: he is driven instead by a seemingly pathological dislike for police, said to have begun when an officer spat in his shoe while he was being held in custody.

It began a belligerent feud that has become so all-consuming it has left him penniless, seen him fall out with friends, and means few who know him can recall what he was like before it began.

Lockett has spent nearly all his life in Auckland's eastern suburbs, enjoying a comfortable upbringing as son of the managing director of the successful Morgan Furniture.

He was educated at Auckland Grammar before training as a mechanic, living overseas and working at the furniture company.

An interest in martial arts and his imposing stature and physical fitness led to his working on the doors of Auckland's nightclubs.

He drove a red 1964 Chevrolet and took it on holiday around New Zealand, towing a matching caravan and ran with a "party crew".

Women from that time remember him as handsome and charming.

Lockett set up his own debt collection business, New Zealand Tracers and Investigations, which was initially successful.

His ability to intimidate as well as "say what needed to be said" helped him collect debts.

Lockett, an associate said, can be "frightening, eccentric and bloody hilarious all in the same sentence".

His work and personality led him into various tangles and run-ins with Auckland's gangs and con-men, and in 2003 he was "bodyguard" to Auckland property developer Mark Lyon, who had gone off the rails on drugs and fallen out of favour with his former gang friends.

His relationship with Lyon ended typically with a falling-out and Lockett filing a court claim for $500,000 in lost wages.

Lockett has always claimed to be anti-drugs, particularly methamphetamine.

He despises gangs and shows his "come one, come all" attitude in the way he speaks of his desire to take members of the feared Head Hunters gang "and teach them some manners".

It is this attitude that could have given almost anyone in prison motivation to beat him this week.

Lockett's links to Maori activists began before the 2005 election while he was living in millionaire used car dealer John Murphy's home on Victoria Ave and they flew a Maori sovereignty flag - much to the ire of their neighbours.

They were soon introduced to Tame Iti and in 2006 made visits to Parliament, Waitangi and the Parihaka Music Festival supporting the cause.

Lockett saw Maori as "on the receiving end" similar to him, although a source said Iti viewed him as a "hot potato". Lockett is alleged to have attended paramilitary training camps in the Ureweras this year.

He fell out with Murphy and has most recently been drawn into a group called the International Complaints Service, made up of other men in a group around self-styled "life coach" Shane Wenzel.

They are anti-establishment and involved in taking private prosecutions against adversaries.

Wenzel, an Australian, has linked the group to another called the Treaty Crimes Investigation Authority and the men have given themselves Maori names and laminated identification cards.

Until his arrest Lockett was attending a Wenzel-run "communication course" six days a week.

Wenzel told the Weekend Herald he was "tweaking and tuning" Lockett. John Murphy put aside his differences with Lockett this week to tell Wenzel to stop "pushing his buttons".

'We will be right on your tail'

Terror suspect Jamie Lockett has been under tight police surveillance for at least 18 months.

He was confronted by undercover police officers dressed as tourists at Waitangi Day 2006 and clearly told - while standing toe-to-toe with one detective - "we will be right on your tail".

And a woman questioned about Lockett by detectives this month told the Weekend Herald she was shown transcripts of his telephone conversations dating back over a year.

The confrontation at Waitangi Day forms part of a short film titled Jamie made by friend and film-maker Miles Watson.

It shows Lockett talking to uniformed police before two undercover officers dressed in board shorts and T-shirts take over.

Lockett and one of the officers stand toe-to-toe as the "on your tail" warning is issued.

The film also shows Lockett meeting Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples, giving Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia a hongi and chatting with Tame Iti.

The Weekend Herald has also been told how diplomatic protection squad officers physically stopped Lockett from approaching Prime Minister Helen Clark at the Auckland Cup races later that year.

This year, a disagreement and fight Lockett had outside the Auckland District Court with former friend John Murphy resulted in the armed offenders squad being called out.

Bugged conversations of Lockett calling himself a "dangerous commando" were read out as part of a recent court hearing.

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