Reputations at stake in Whanganui District Court

By Court Reporter

It was a long list for Judge David Cameron in Whanganui District Court on Tuesday. PHOTO/ FILE
It was a long list for Judge David Cameron in Whanganui District Court on Tuesday. PHOTO/ FILE

The list of people to appear in Whanganui District Court on Tuesday included three with charges related to methamphetamine use or sale.

One of the drug accused is Daren Walter McCoy. He has been charged with having LSD and methamphetamine for supply, among other matters. He is due to plead on October 18, his counsel Roger Crowley said.

There were some sad stories in the list day - a man stealing spray paint to inhale and get high, and a young man who may find it difficult to get a job after a dishonesty offence. There were the usual appearances for driving influenced by alcohol and breaching protection orders.

Joshua Reuben Carnegie, who faced charges that included raping a female aged from 12- 16, did not appear in court. His lawyer, Stephen Ross, headed that off "in case it turns into what it previously has turned into".

He said Carnegie was not fit to plead and was likely to become a patient at a forensic hospital. With treatment Carnegie may become fit to plead, and he is due back in court on October 17.

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A man sentenced to 80 hours' community work for breaching standard release conditions was convicted and discharged on them instead.

Kelvin Martin Kumeroa had threatened community probation services staff and been trespassed from the premises, District Court Judge David Cameron said. He had done none of the community work and had an "unenviable criminal history" that included violence, threatening behaviour, drugs, manslaughter and aggravated robbery.

Kumeroa has been in custody since early September and faces separate charges of assault and threatening to kill. He has pleaded not guilty to those, and his counsel Anna Brosnahan sought bail for him, until his next court appearance on November 15.

Judge Cameron granted electronically monitored bail, with some hesitation. Any breach would see Kumeroa back in jail until all his charges were disposed of, he said.

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21-year-old Te Uru Reremoana Angela Patricia Clair appeared on a charge of aggravated burglary. Her charge sheet said the weapon used in the robbery was a knife, and what Clair wanted was 12 vodka cruisers. Clair is on bail and due to plead in court on October 25.

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Karl Anton Te Huia, 42, pleaded guilty to shoplifting a can of spray paint worth $16 from The Warehouse. When found, he said he "just wanted to get high".

Judge Cameron was "a bit concerned about him huffing spray paint". His counsel Raukawa Simon said Te Huia had underlying health issues and could get help from the Te Oranganui Trust.

He had a lot of past history with the court, but nothing for the previous three years. He was ordered to repay the store, convicted and told to come up for sentence if he was called on in the next six months.

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In August Corey James Hagger pleaded guilty to a charge of theft by a person in a special relationship. He was working for Farmers when he found a way to duplicate receipts and refund items onto gift cards, which he later used and tried to sell.

He defrauded Farmers of $1916.50, which he has repaid, his counsel Harete Hipango said. He had a last sum of $420.75 with him to pay at court.

He had resigned his job when the offending was discovered, and Farmers did not wish to have a restorative justice session with him.

Ms Hipango said Hagger was under pressure when the offending happened in May, due to taking responsibility for his mother and brother. He faced a heavy penalty, she said.

"He's lost his job, and been in the newspaper and besmirched his character. It will be difficult for him to get a job in a trust relationship now."

Hagger was sentenced to 60 hours' community work, probably to be done with an agency.

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Another young man was given a sentence of supervision rather than community work, because Judge Cameron said he shouldn't associate with the other people doing community work.

Albert Tanirau Hetet, 21, pleaded guilty to charges of assaulting a police officer, disorderly behaviour and escaping custody.

Police prosecutor Stephen Butler said they all related to a September 17 incident in the main street of Marton, where Hetet was fighting among a group, was arrested, escaped, abused police and told them "Come on. I will take you both on. I will drop you both".

He was sprayed twice, and punched an officer once in the face.

He had no previous convictions, and was in full-time work.

Lawyer Harete Hipango said Hetet couldn't remember anything about the incident, but had a problem with alcohol. Judge Cameron ordered him to carry out any counselling or treatment recommended while he is under six months' supervision.

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A man faces charges of breaching the Corrections Act and possessing cannabis for supply, after allegedly throwing tobacco and cannabis over the fence at Whanganui Prison.

There were also charges of possessing a knife, breaching release conditions and assault with intent to injure for Jordan James Cornor. He has not yet pleaded on the charges, and was told a prison sentence is possible.

He appears in court on October 25, for a sentence indication.

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Henry Angus Peter Waitokia, a full-time seasonal worker, was sentenced to 100 hours of community work after pleading guilty to charges of possessing cannabis plant and oil and needles and syringes for drug use.

He had previous convictions, but the most recent ones were 15 years ago, Ms Hipango said. He had a large amount of cannabis, she said, but it was all for personal use and he had been co-operative with police.

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Ataria Tarati Herekiuha pleaded guilty to obtaining by deception, after using another person's driver license to get access to electricity. She was sentenced to 200 hours' community work, and told to repay the electricity company.

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Five people faced charges of contravening protection orders. One of them, Karl Phillip Holloway, 38, had 10 previous convictions for the same offence, and pleaded guilty. His counsel Raukawa Simon said he was in an ongoing relationship with the complainant, and got mixed messages from her.

But police prosecutor Stephen Butler said the complainant just wanted to be left alone, and that Holloway had only recently been released from a prison sentence for the same offence.

Though they had shared children, Judge Cameron said Holloway must learn to abide by the protection order. He was sentenced to two months' prison.

James Tipa Brooks pleaded guilty to a second breach of a protection order. He was bailed to October 31, when he appears for sentencing.

Michelle Margaret Johnson is a rare woman pleading guilty to breaching a protection order. It was a first breach, and consisted of asking another person to take a box of photographs around to her former partner. She had drawn all over some of the pictures.

Lawyer Anna Brosnahan said there was a "long, tangled story" behind this breach. Johnson had stood by her partner while he was in prison. Then he had found someone else and asked her to sign divorce papers so he could marry again.

She had struggled with the relationship breakdown, was in counselling and was unable to do community work.

Judge Cameron convicted Johnson and ordered her to come up for sentence if called upon within six months.

Facing two charges of breaching a protection order and two charges of assaulting a female, Steven Samuel Martin pleaded not guilty. The matter is to be dealt with in a judge alone trial. He is due back in court on November 1.

For Adrian Paul Murray Gibson the breach was a first one and a simple matter of sending a text. Lawyer Harete Hipango said Gibson didn't know texting was forbidden. He pleaded guilty and was ordered to come up for sentence if called upon within six months and also convicted and discharged on a charge of failing to appear in court.

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Four people pleaded guilty to charges of driving under the influence of alcohol.
One was Brian Crozier, who had five previous convictions for the same offence, but none since 2002 when he was given a final warning. He will be sentenced on December 2.

For Kahlee Anahera Paige Heremia, 21, it was a first drink driving offence and she was on a learner license. She was fined $800 and $130 court costs and disqualified from driving for six months.

Beneficiary Brogan Cheyanne Webster had 704mcg of alcohol in her breath. The legal limit is 250mcg. She told police driving made her anxious, lawyer Harete Hipango said, and alcohol calmed her nerves. It was also her first offence and she was fined $650, and court costs $130 and disqualified for six months.

Murray Neil McAuley was on his fourth drink driving offence. He was convicted, and will be sentenced on December 2.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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