A gang member who shot into a car near a Rotorua playground and farmers' market has successfully appealed his sentence in the High Court.

Cody James Fane was sentenced in the Rotorua District Court to three years and seven months in prison last September for discharging a firearm with reckless disregard or intent to injure and two breaches of bail charges.

His sentence has since been discounted by 17 months to two years and two months, for the time Fane spent on recall.

At 10am on April 22, 2017, Fane was in Kuirau Park wearing black clothing with the Mangu Kaha gang patch.


The summary of facts said there were "hundreds of members of the public" attending the market at the time, including children.

Two members of the rival Mongrel Mob saw and approached Fane and two other men.

Mongrel Mob member patch. Photo / File
Mongrel Mob member patch. Photo / File

"Members of the public were concerned by developments and some yelled at all of the men to take their gang problems elsewhere," the summary said.

The Mongrel Mob members retreated to a vehicle on Kuirau St by a playground but Fane followed.

"Fane raised a sawn-off .22 rifle and fired a single shot through the rear passenger window of the BMW... The direction of the shot was directly towards the Mongrel Mob member, who was at the same time reaching into the front passenger seat of the car."

The bullet smashed a window and became lodged in the front passenger seat headrest.

Fane ran from the scene and escaped in a vehicle.

He had only just been released on parole that January, during a 10-year sentence for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in 2012.


A High Court decision was released by Justice Anne Hinton last week, after Fane's appeal.

Fane's lawyer Annette Sykes submitted he had accepted his sentencing indication on the understanding it would be effectively backdated to 27 April 2017, when he returned to custody one year and five months earlier.

Annette Sykes. Photo / File
Annette Sykes. Photo / File

Hinton wrote "the Crown accepts that some discount is appropriate ... They suggest a discount of six to 12 months."

She concluded: "Judge Snell erred in not giving a discount for the time spent on recall and the discount should have been 17 months."

"This has resulted in a sentence that is manifestly excessive. I consider the end result is what Judge Snell would have ordered, had the matter been put to him."

Sykes told the Rotorua Daily Post the "technical appeal" ensured the merits of incarceration were included in the total sentence.

She said Fane would not be released from custody in the near future because he had two strikes under the justice system's three strikes law.

Sykes emphasised the decision would not open the floodgates for others.

"There was a matrix of factors involved, and I don't think this appeal would have been upheld for just anyone.

"For example, there were personal considerations. His father died of cancer while he was in custody and Cody could not attend the funeral. His family is still waiting for his release to hold a memorial service."