Court news – Firearm ownership worried whanau


OPOTIKI man Bonnee Malcolm Vercoe Rocco Biddle, 30, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a semi-automatic shotgun when he appeared in the Opotiki District Court last week.

Judge Peter Rollo heard a family member had contacted the police, concerned with Biddle’s ownership of the weapon.

“Your family didn’t trust you with that kind of weapon,” Judge Rollo said.

Judge Rollo noted that Biddle’s previous sentences indicated non-compliance with court orders.

Biddle was sentenced to two months of community detention and 12 months of supervision.


Remanded to reappear

TE WHIU Stanley Ranapa appeared in the Opotiki District Court last week charged with breaking into a ute belonging to Terry Rogers from Tyreman Opotiki.

Mr Rogers was robbed and assaulted, during the incident last month, by multiple assailants.

Judge Peter Rollo heard Ranapa, 23, was seeking legal aid and had not yet entered a plea.
He was remanded on bail to reappear in court on July 4.

Not guilty plea

WIREMU Wayne Hale pleaded not guilty to assault when he appeared in court last week.

The assault allegedly took place on May 29.
Judge Rollo remanded the 28-year-old to appear on August 1 for case review.

Theft and burglary

RONGOPAI Pene, 19, was charged with theft and burglary, having previously been placed under intensive supervision.

Judge Rollo heard Pene had received a sentence of supervision in the Tauranga court and had been travelling by bus to Opotiki to stay with family when he reoffended in Hamilton.

“You have a number of similar offendings,” Judge Rollo said.
The judge sentenced Pene to 18 months of intensive supervision with special conditions.

Breached protection order

JESSE Ray Abraham-Cordtz pleaded not guilty to breaching a protection order, assault and breaching his release conditions.

Judge Rollo remanded the 28-year-old to appear in the Rotorua District Court on August 7 for case review.

Assault on niece

WHAKATANE’S Poihipi Nikorima Robson pleaded guilty to assault when he appeared in court last week.

Judge Rollo heard Robson dragged and kicked the victim, who was his niece, multiple times.

The 45-year-old was remanded to reappear on August 1.

Threatened harm

CHEYENNE Lawrence Onekawa appeared in court charged with assault and threatening to do grievous bodily harm.

Judge Rollo heard the offending took place earlier this month, Onekawa did not enter a plea to the charges and was remanded to reappear on July 4 with orders not to associate with the victim or be within one kilometre of their residence.

Fifth drink drive offence

Josephine Kahika appeared in court last week for drink driving, her fifth offence of that nature.

Kahika pleaded guilty to driving on Church Street with a breath alcohol reading of 921 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit for driving is 250mcg.

“This level indicates an excessive consumption of alcohol,” Judge Rollo said. “You have a significant drinking problem.”

Kahika denied having a drinking problem, but it was identified that she “persistently” drove while drunk.

Judge Rollo said Kahika was lucky to have not been caught more often.

He sentenced her to four months of community detention, 80 hours of community work and 12 months of supervision.

The 51-year-old was also disqualified from driving for 28 days, after which period she would be subject to an alcohol interlock licence.

Breached supervision

Mark Isaac Wikotu, pleaded guilty to unlawfully using a Paywave Eftpos card, and breaching supervision.

Wikotu claimed to have paid $80 in reparation so far, but this was unable to be confirmed.
Judge Rollo adjourned the 24-year-old’s sentencing for three months, giving Wikotu time to demonstrate his compliance.

Significant history

DEBBIE Gardiner was arrested in Whakatane last Wednesday night, and appeared in the Opotiki District Court the following morning.

Gardiner refuted the police report, claiming not to have been in Whakatane.

Judge Rollo heard Gardiner had a warrant for her arrest after failing to attend the Hastings District Court for sentence on charges of assault and drink driving.

The charges came after Gardiner punched a person several times in the body and head following an argument while under the influence, then drove.

On returning to the house, she was caught by police and found to be over the legal limit for driving.

Judge Rollo said Gardiner had a significant history of offending, including both drink driving and violence charges.

On the three charges, Judge Rollo sentenced Gardiner to 12 months of supervision, 50 hours of community work and disqualified her from driving for 12 months and a day.