Corazon Miller is a NZ Herald reporter

Dolphy Kohu's accomplice sentenced to community work

Carlos Bushell was sentenced to nine months' supervision and 250 hours community work. Photo/File
Carlos Bushell was sentenced to nine months' supervision and 250 hours community work. Photo/File

The male accomplice of a man who'd attempted to evade police and fired multiple shots at police officers has been sentenced to nine months' supervision and 250 hours community work.

Carlos Duane Bushell, 29, was last year charged with knowingly helping Dolphy Kohu avoid arrest.

He pleaded guilty on one charge of being an accessory after the fact, to using a firearm against a law officer and was last week sentenced in the High Court at Whanganui.

In a sentencing report released today the judge indicated how his early plea and the fact that his actions seemed to be a one off contributed to the lesser sentence.

However, the judge also made it clear the supervision and community service were not a means to get Mr Bushell off lightly.

"The 250 hours reflects a discount for your guilty plea. It would have been higher had it not been for that ... You will have to work hard and for quite a long time to complete that sentence."

Mr Bushell was one of a number of others involved in the incident that started in the early hours of August 19, when Mr Kohu fled in a car with his girlfriend from police.

The sentence report detailed how the early morning police chase ended when Mr Kohu, who was forced off the road, began shooting a rifle at the officers.

When the officers went to a nearby house for assistance, Mr Kohu and his girlfriend drove off in one of the police cars.

Mr Kohu initially sought refuge at Mr Bushell's house before asking him to drive to Taihape later that evening.

However, the van they were in was stopped by the armed offenders squad who noticed movement under a blanket in the back of the van and discovered Mr Kohu and his girlfriend.

Mr Kohu was in possession of a loaded rifle, believed to have been the same one used against police earlier that morning.

The report indicated Mr Bushell later told police he was aware Mr Kohu was on the run, but did not know he had a gun or had shot at police.

"You said that driving Mr Kohu made you feel "pretty bloody anxious" but said "I just wanted to get rid of him and get back to my family and work".

The judge accepted his actions were in part motivated by fears for his family, but said it had put the community at risk.

"But I accept what you say and that you acted as you did to protect your family. I am sure that the arrival of Mr Kohu and Ms Paul at your home on 19 August last year was not welcome and that you wished to get them away from there and away from your family."

Given the personal mitigating factors and the fact he'd been on the "straight and narrow" for some time, the judge deemed the sentence of nine months supervision and 250 hours community work was appropriate.

"There is, I think, a public interest in keeping you in the community and helping you do that, if that is possible."

Mr Kohu, was last year charged with two counts of attempted murder, or two alternative charges of using a firearm against a law enforcement officer and numerous other charges.

However, he died in custody in January this year, ahead of a court appearance scheduled for March this year.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 05 Dec 2016 14:55:20 Processing Time: 369ms