A teen charged with interfering with a dead body has kept his promise with a court judge to "get off his butt".

Tiger Ross, 18, appeared in the Rotorua District Court today - albeit late - after a judge gave him a second chance to complete police diversion.

Ross is charged with interfering with the remains of Jason Lines, who died when his fishing dinghy capsized crossing the Bowentown Bar, south of Waihi Beach, on November 20. Two people survived the capsize and Lines' body washed ashore seven days later.

Lines was buried at a Rotorua urupa and eight people were charged with interfering with the remains on December 2.


Ross had previously failed to complete police diversion, prompting police to ask the court to withdraw the offer.

Diversion is offered to first-time offenders and sees them complete alternative tasks ordered by police, resulting in the charge being withdrawn and no conviction entered.

When Ross last appeared in court on March 7, Judge Tony Snell gave him a rev-up and told him to "get off his butt" and do what the court had asked him. He warned him the alternative was to be on strict bail conditions for several months while he waited for a trial.

Judge Snell made Ross give his word he would do diversion and ordered him to report back today.

Ross wasn't in court at 9am today when his case was called and Judge Snell ordered a warrant be issued for his arrest.

His lawyer, Scott Mills, said his client had done what was asked of him during the past two weeks, which prosecuting Sergeant Geoff Kaye confirmed.

However Judge Snell was unimpressed Ross wasn't at court.

"Find him and get him here, Mr Mills, even if you have to drive off into Ford Block and find him."


However, Ross appeared shortly after the case was stood down, and his lawyer apologised for his lateness, blaming his bus into the city running late.

Judge Snell remanded Ross on bail to further carry out his diversion. He will reappear on April 23 at 10am.

Two youths who were originally jointly charged have had their charges dropped and five others are still being dealt with in the court.

Sebastien Wineera, 22, Rhys James Phillips, a forest worker, 25, Ryan Rawiri Lingman, a fencer, 25, and Shannon Shiloh Apirana, 28, have pleaded not guilty and will reappear on May 2 for a trial callover. Maurice Ututaonga, 21, pleaded guilty and will reappear on April 4 for sentencing.