Court news – Prison term for reoffending


CHASE Gage pleaded guilty to assaulting a female while a protection order was in place when he appeared in the Opotiki District Court last week.

Judge Louis Bidois heard a previous offence took place in January last year, and Gage had been sentenced to 400 hours of community work and supervision in November.

Since then, he had completed 30 hours of community work.

“Had you not reoffended, I would have given a community-based sentence,” Judge Bidois said.

The 24-year-old was sentenced to seven months’ imprisonment.


Assault with a stick

MATTHEW Dinning Clayton, 39, pleaded guilty to assaulting a man with a stick, causing injuries to his face when he appeared in the Opotiki District Court last week.

Judge Louis Bidois heard Clayton had travelled to the victim’s house late in the day before assaulting him.

“You had no right to go to his property,” Judge Bidois said.
Clayton was fined $650 plus costs and ordered to make an emotional harm reparation payment to the victim.

Stopped at checkpoint

CRYSTAL Felon Kelly Beach pleaded guilty to drink driving, after being stopped at a police checkpoint.

At the time she had a blood alcohol level of 193 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

Judge Bidois sentenced Beach to nine months of supervision, 190 hours of community work and disqualified her from driving for 12 months.

“Drink and drive again, and the outcome will be jail,” Judge Bidois said.

Error in judgment

DENYSE Raima Moana pleaded guilty to drink driving when she appeared in court last week.

Moana had a breath alcohol reading of 472 micrograms of alcohol per litre of blood when she was stopped by police.

Moana had been drinking with family before the offending and drove, thinking she was below the limit.

“That was an error in judgment on your part,” Judge Bidois said.

Moana was sentenced to 100 hours of community work and disqualified from driving for 12 months.

Starting point jail

CHRISTOPHER Duncan Phillis pleaded guilty to drink driving while on a zero-alcohol driving licence.

He will reappear for sentencing on May 23.

“The starting point will be jail,” warned Judge Bidois.

Driving while suspended

THOMAS Fredrick Kupa, 45, pleaded guilty to driving while his licence was suspended. He was sentenced to two months of home detention.

Opportunistic theft

ALLAN Paul Kahukiwa pleaded guilty to stealing from a tourist in an “opportunistic” robbery.

The item stolen was a tablet valued at $500, which was not recovered.
Kahukiwa was ordered to pay the victim $500 in reparation.

Fine for obstruction

TANIA Marie Holt pleaded guilty to wilful damage, assaulting a police officer and obstruction of justice when she appeared in the Opotiki court last week.
Judge Bidois fined her $400 plus costs.

Digger theft

NATHAN Tahirua Iua pleaded guilty to two burglaries and stealing a digger valued at $45,000.

Iua represented himself in court, but Judge Bidois recommended he get a lawyer before sentencing.

“You can dig your heels in, but I don’t recommend it,” the judge said.

The 39-year-old was remanded on bail to reappear on May 23 for sentencing.

Self defence claimed

RHIANNON Mandura Hurley, 27, pleaded not guilty to assaulting a family member and damaging her glasses.

The offence, which Hurley claims was self defence, happened on March 12.

The judge remanded Hurley on bail to reappear on May 23.

Don’t drive

HARLEY Sean Matthews pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified on March 1.

Judge Bidois sentenced Matthews to 100 hours of community work, with no additional disqualification.

“Don’t drive again, Mr Matthews,” the judge said.

Assault on child

A MAN pleaded guilty to assaulting his seven-year-old son, who had since been removed from his care.

Judge Bidois heard the man had a history of violence, but not previously towards his son.

“You are not allowed to touch anyone, let alone a child,” Judge Bidois said.

The man was ordered to pay $150 emotional harm reparation to the victim and sentenced to 120 hours of community work.

No pleas entered

JAMES Richard McCormack allegedly assaulted a family member and drove carelessly on March 9.

The 39-year-old did not enter a plea and will reappear in the Opotiki District Court on April 11.

Shoplifting treble

SAMANTHA Himenoa Falwasser appeared in court on three charges of shoplifting.

The 37-year-old pleaded guilty to the thefts, committed over four months from the Opotiki Four Square supermarket.

Falwasser was sentenced to 80 hours of community work and was ordered to pay back the value of the stolen goods.

“Do you want to go back to prison? Then stop stealing,” Judge Bidois said.

Dispute over money

MANU Apanui Gavigan pleaded guilty to damaging a vehicle and breaching a protection order.

Gavigan threatened the victim via text messages, then travelled to her house to verbally threaten her.

He then threw a rock through the windshield of a car on the property.

Judge Bidois heard the dispute was over $50 the victim owed Gavigan.

Gavigan was sentenced to 140 hours of community work and nine months of supervision.

He was also ordered to pay $300 emotional harm reparation and $250 for the damage caused.

Two-way street

MOEROA Pene appeared in court on two charges of burglary and one charge of breaching bail.

Judge Bidois said Pene was a previous offender, and jail was a possibility.

“It’s a two-way street Mr Pene, you’ve got to help yourself,” Judge Bidois said.

Pene was bailed to reappear on April 11 for sentence.

Multiple charges

NATASHA Williams appeared in court on three charges of shoplifting, one charge of burglary, driving without a licence, two charges of failing to answer court bail and a breach of supervision.

She was remanded to reappear on April 17.

“You had better make sure you turn up,” Judge Bidois warned her.