A teen charged with interfering with a dead body has nearly completed a diversion process, under the watchful eye of a Rotorua District Court judge.

Tiger Ross, 18, appeared in the Rotorua District Court today after previously pleading guilty to interfering with the remains of Jason Lines.

Lines died when his fishing dinghy capsized crossing the Bowentown Bar, south of Waihi Beach, on November 20 last year.

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 been slow to complete police diversion, prompting Judge Tony Snell to take him under his wing and personally manage his progress in court.

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to first-time offenders and sees them complete alternative tasks ordered by police, resulting in the charge being withdrawn and no conviction entered.

Ross' lawyer, Scott Mills, today told Judge Snell his client was nearly finished diversion but the hold-up was arranging restorative justice with the victim's family.

Kevin Lee from Mana Social Services said this could take some time and asked for a six-week adjournment.

Judge Snell remanded Ross on bail to reappear on June 12 and told him he was pleased he had been complying, which would eventually mean he wouldn't get a conviction against his name.

Two youths originally jointly charged have had their charges dropped and five others are still being dealt with.