A former girlfriend of a gang member on trial in the High Court at Rotorua has been sentenced to home detention after trying to bribe a juror with $5000 to find the boyfriend not guilty.
Daralee Veatupu, 26, went to the home of one of the jurors during Christopher Jolley's trial in December last year and told her she can hand over $5000 "right here, right now" if she allowed her to spend time with him over Christmas.
In sentencing notes, just released online by the High Court, Justice Grant Powell said it appeared there were others behind Veatupu's approach to the juror.
The juror told Veatupu she could not speak with her and closed the door. She then rang police.
Justice Powell sentenced Veatupu to nine months' home detention on a charge of attempting to influence by threats of bribes or other corrupt means a member of a jury, the sentencing notes said.
Veatupu pleaded guilty after her trial date had been set and after she switched lawyers to Nicky Utting.
The decision said Jolley and a number of his associates were on trial for a range of charges arising out of an altercation that took place in Rotorua in 2015.
The most serious charge was attempted murder but Jolley personally was defending charges of participation in an organised criminal group and possession of an offensive weapon.
Veatupu attended the trial and sat in the public gallery in the first two weeks.
On Thursday November 30 the jury started considering its verdict. About 3.30pm on Saturday December 2, Veatupu went to one of the jurors' homes and knocked on the door.
The juror recognised the former girlfriend immediately, having seen her in the public gallery. She was distinctive at that time being seven months pregnant and had dyed blonde hair.
"You told the juror you wanted to speak to her about the trial as one of the defendants was your boyfriend."
The juror described her as softly spoken and appeared upset.
"You told her that you had not seen your partner properly for two years and wanted to spend time with him over Christmas. The juror repeatedly told you she could not speak about the trial. You then offered to give her $5000 'right here, right now'."
The decision said she had four children; the two youngest were to Jolley.
Her personal circumstances were that she had a difficult upbringing and was raised by her grandmother until she was 12. Her mother had addiction issues and her father was gang-affiliated. There were issues of poverty during her childhood. By age 17 she was pregnant to a Black Power member.
The decision said she was living with her aunt, at whose address she would serve the home detention.
Justice Powell said it appeared others were behind her approach to the juror.
He reached that conclusion because on the night the jury retired, Jolley and one of his co-defendants saw one of the jurors driving out (from the courthouse). The two men pulled into a local petrol station as the juror drove past, and Jolley waved to her.
That night, a young man knocked on the juror's front door asking to see "Jerry". The juror told him no one lived there by that name. There was a discussion that the person was in fact three doors down and the young man left, but did not go to the neighbour's house.
Justice Powell said it was Veatupu's aunt's evidence that her niece was "very afraid of telling the real truth". The aunt's affidavit said Veatupu was "constantly looking over [her] shoulder and I know we are being watched ... Daralee won't talk much about the situation that led to this charge. She knows it is safer to keep quiet", the aunt's affidavit said.