Masterton mum's anger at jail food

By Jack Barlow jack.barlow@age.co.nz

52 comments


A Wairarapa mother is angry her son was given only instant noodles to eat while in custody at Masterton Police Station for more than 40 hours.

Callum Mahupuku, 20, was taken into police custody at 8pm on Saturday when he allegedly breached his bail conditions by drinking beer.

He said the only food he was offered between his arrest on Saturday and being released on Monday afternoon was instant noodles, often without any flavouring, and one time soaked in cold water.

"It was gross, I didn't even eat it. I didn't eat at all on Saturday," he said.

His only other sustenance until his release at 2.30pm yesterday was several cups of Milo.

"It's stupid," he said.

Mr Mahupuku was on bail after being arrested for an alleged assault in December. His bail conditions included not drinking alcohol and living at his Masterton address.

He was arrested on Saturday after being stopped at a drink-driving checkpoint. While not over the alcohol limit, police detected he had been drinking, in breach of his conditions.

His mother, Deborah Mahupuku, said she was furious with her son's treatment.

"It's outrageous," she said.

"I don't think having just noodles with cold water is a good thing - it makes me very angry.

"You would have thought they could have at least boiled a jug ... even just having noodles itself is terrible."

Ms Mahupuku said she had written to the Independent Police Conduct Authority, a watchdog that deals with complaints about the police, and was writing to Police Commissioner Peter Marshall.

Masterton police Sergeant Mike Sutton said he could not comment on individual cases such as Mr Mahupuku's, but did confirm that people in custody at the station were served only instant noodles. "The standard is only two-minute noodles and that's that," he said.

What do you think? Email editor@age.co.nz, or text 021 241 4568 with WTA at the start of the message.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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