Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the NZME. News Service office in Wellington.

Man sentenced for Wellington bus rant

Photo / Facebook
Photo / Facebook

Bus users had a right to use public transport without being abused, a man who was filmed verbally attacking two young men was told in court today.

Moses Mohi Joe Tupaea, 66, of Lower Hutt was fined and ordered to complete community work when he was sentenced in the Hutt Valley District today.

He had earlier pleading guilty to charges of offensive behaviour and using threatening language.

Judge Mark Callaghan sentenced him to 120 hours community work, and ordered him to pay a $500 fine and $130 in court costs.

"This community is entitled to travel on public transport without being threatened or abused," he said.

The charges related to an incident on an NZ Bus in the Lower Hutt suburb of Naenae in March.

The incident was caught on film by an Iraqi Muslim woman on the bus, and showed Tupaea calling out to a pair of two men.

He called them "Islam c***s" and told them to "go back to your own country".

Pene Walker, 60, who was a passenger on the bus, stood up for the young men and called out "welcome to New Zealand" to them before telling Tupaea to behave himself.

Tupaea then repeatedly told Ms Walker to "shut your mouth up b****".

During today's hearing, Tupaea was wearing an orange top with the message "Jesus coming be ready" written on the back.

Tupaea's lawyer Alastair Clarke told the court his client regretted the incident on the bus.

He said Tupaea had apologised to the men in an interview aired on Maori TV and had enrolled himself in an anger management course.

Judge Callaghan said Tupaea had a long list of nuisance-type convictions.

"I need to send a message that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated."

Outside court Tupaea would not respond to questions from reporters.

- NZME.

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