Whakatau charged with abduction

By Jill Nicholas

A man who was arrested in Te Kaha following a police hunt in August is now facing further charges, including a charge of abducting a girl under 16.

Dean Whakatau, 37, appeared before Judge Maree Mackenzie in the Rotorua District Court via video link today where the new charges were revealed by Crown prosecutor Chris Macklin.

Whakatau had earlier elected trial by a judge alone after pleading not guilty to burglary charges and one of breaching his bail conditions.

His lawyer Craig Tuck said he needed further time to discuss the new charges with Whakatau who was presently in custody. He indicated Whakatau was anxious for the matters to be dealt with as soon as possible.

Judge Mackenzie granted his request for a further adjournment and set February 10 for another callover.

She remanded Whakatau back into custody.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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