Fake cop sentencing delayed by 'contemptuous and sarcastic' report

By Brendan Manning

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

The sentencing of a man convicted for posing as a police officer to rob businesses has been delayed due to a "contemptuous and sarcastic" probation report.

Labour Arepa Tauariki appeared at the Auckland District Court today to be sentenced on charges of pretending to be a police officer.

However, his lawyer Robin Brown asked Judge Thomas Everitt to remand the sentencing so that another report could be written - and from another writer.

"There were glaring omissions of positive aspects to his [Tauariki's] character, which weren't referred to in the report - it was all negative reporting," Mr Brown told APNZ.

Mr Brown said Tauariki's mother Mary was planning to make a complaint to the probation services about the author of the report, who she described as "racist".

"That was her take on the attitude of the writer towards her and her son - that there was overtones of racism in her remarks - it left the impression of him being racist."

The probation officer was "contemptuous" and "sarcastic" he said.

"Given the fact that the recommendation was for a short term of imprisonment, I considered that it was important that the judge got a fair report that was fairly balanced."

Mr Brown said he had been practising law since 1984, and it was the first time he had ever asked for a probation report to be re-written.

A corrections spokesman said they would definitely be considering what was said, but they were not familiar with the case so could not comment further.

Police said Tauariki and his co-accused Jeffrey Teina dressed in a police uniform and distracted workers, to allow their associates to steal cigarettes and cash.

One of the men is alleged to have claimed he was a police officer at a massage parlour in Mt Albert while his co-accused allegedly robbed the house next door.

Teina, a 30-year-old builder, was charged with entering properties, possession of cannabis, using a stolen bank card and five charges of pretending to be a police officer.

Tauariki, 20, was charged with pretending to be a police officer, entering two buildings and using the bank card. He is also charged with receiving a stolen cellphone.

Tauariki is now due to appear on January 24.

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n4 at 17 Sep 2014 06:36:35 Processing Time: 579ms