Dolphy Kohu dies in custody

By Staff Reporters -
Dolphy Kohu in Whanganui District Court in August after manhunt in the Waimarino.
Dolphy Kohu in Whanganui District Court in August after manhunt in the Waimarino.

The young man who sparked a day-long manhunt in Raetihi and Ohakune in August last year has died in prison.

Dolphy Kohu died on Friday. He was due back in court in March.

Whanganui Prison Prison Director Reti Pearse confirmed a prisoner died on Friday afternoon at Whanganui Prison. Staff found the prisoner in an unresponsive state and provided medical attention, however, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Read more:
Who is Dolphy Kohu?

The death has been referred to the Coroner and is subject to an investigation by Corrections Inspectorate and Police.

The August 19 incident started in Whanganui and ended with arrests in Waiouru. Mr Kohu was 24 at the time.

After it he was charged with two counts of attempted murder - or two alternative charges of using a firearm against a law enforcement officer - failing to stop, two counts of reckless driving, endangering transport, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, unlawfully possessing a pistol, unlawfully possessing explosives, and possessing utensils for meth.
He was said to have driven into a police car and shot at two officers.

Five others received associated charges, but most of those have since been dropped.

Mr Kohu had two previous firearms incidents in his past. He shot at a family in Whanganui's Hylton St in 2012, and was involved in an aggravated robbery of the Pylon Dairy in 2008.

Schooled in the Waimarino, teachers from Ruapehu College were "gutted" at news of his August offending and arrest. They believed he was "a good kid" who had lots of promise for the future.

Timeline of history

September 2008 - Robbed a Whanganui dairy with a sawn-off shotgun while on bail for other offences

March 2009 - Sentenced to 3 years 9 months prison for the aggravated robbery

June 2011 - Sought by police for breaching prison release conditions "over violence matters"

March 2012 - While on parole fired a shotgun at a family in Whanganui and spent six weeks on the run from police

May 2012 - Arrested in Wellington

March 2013 - Sentenced to 2.5 years prison for the shooting

February - Recalled to prison for breaching parole conditions by smashing the windows of a car he wanted to buy with a vodka bottle

March - Granted parole after it was found "no further breaches are likely"

June - Released from prison

July - Corrections applied to the Parole Board to have Kohu recalled to prison for breaching his parole conditions

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