THE man charged in the wake of Opotiki’s failed bank heist, appeared in the Opotiki District Court last Thursday.

Creedence Hudson did not enter a plea on the burglary charge but pleaded guilty to breaching his community work and supervision sentences.

Judge Louis Bidios said of the 100 hours of community work that Hudson had been sentenced to earlier this year, none had been completed.

“You are not doing these sentences,” Judge Bidois said.

Hudson’s existing sentences were cancelled and replaced with a two-month prison sentence.

The 27-year-old was remanded in custody to reappear on the burglary charge.

The charge relates to a break-in at the Westpac Bank at 2.30am last Monday where the offender used tin-snips to gain entry via the roof, then fell into the premises.

Other court appearances:

Drugs and alcohol a factor

MAKU Maroro Poihipi, 42, pleaded guilty in the Opotiki District Court last Thursday to contravening a protection order.

Judge Louis Bidois heard that drugs and alcohol had been a factor in the latest breach, with the victim and defendant previously in a relationship.

The court heard that Poihipi had 11 previous breaches and 44 family harm incidents on his record, including kidnapping.

“Your ability to comply with community-based sentences is questionable,” said Judge Bidois.

He said Poihipi was a cannabis user and offended while under the influence of the drug.

Judge Bidois said the victim had said they needed Poihipi out of their life permanently.

Poihipi was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment as there was no suitable address available for home detention.

“Stop using drugs and your life might get better,” said Judge Bidois.

Drugs and weapons

MAUI Taitapanui pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of drugs, weapons and ammunition.
Taitapanui appeared on one charge each of unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, possession of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine for supply.

Judge Bidois heard that police had found a .22 calibre rifle modified to be used as a pistol in Taitapanui’s possession.

The firearm was loaded when found and 110 live rounds of ammunition were also recovered.

Judge Bidois said the place the weapon was being kept had been accessible by a young child.

There was also the potential for the weapon to be used in gang conflict.

Taitapanui was sentenced to six months’ home detention, to be served at a Whakatane address, and ordered not to consume drugs or alcohol during this time.

He was also sentenced to 100 hours of community work.

Meth dealing

PAULINE Denise Rahora Tai pleaded guilty to two charges each of dealing methamphetamine and conspiring to deal methamphetamine.

She was sentenced to 12 months of intensive supervision.

Disqualified sober driver

JARED Renata Te Moana pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified after ferrying intoxicated people from a pub.

Judge Bidois heard the intoxicated people had been at the pub drinking and had a vehicle, which Te Moana did not wish them to use in their state.

“They’re adults, they need to take care of themselves,” said Judge Bidois.

Te Moana responded he would rather be caught than hear one of the intoxicated persons had been killed in a drink-driving accident.

Te Moana was fined $400 plus court costs and ordered to complete 80 hours of community work.

Drinking and crashing

TE Manawa O Te Urewa Kereopa, 19, pleaded guilty to driving while forbidden and drink driving.

Judge Bidois heard Kereopa had been forbidden to drive but, with a breath alcohol reading of 493 micrograms of alcohol per litre, had got into the vehicle anyway and driven. There is a zero alcohol limit for drivers under the age of 20.

Kerepoa collided with an unoccupied vehicle, which Judge Bidois said was “totalled”.

“And then you ran off, which is pretty cowardly,” he said.

Kereopa was ordered to complete 160 hours of community work and disqualified from driving for seven months.

Selling stolen digger

SIMON Elias Snowden had allegedly intended to sell a digger stolen from Potts Avenue, but failed to do so, which resulted in a burglary charge.

Snowden has previously appeared in court on the burglary charge and last week appeared on a fresh charge of obstruction of justice, to which no plea was entered.

Police allege that Snowden travelled to the home of a witness and told them to withdraw their statement.

He denied this in court, claiming the provided summary of facts was incorrect and that the witness had come to his residence.

Judge Bidois heard Snowden’s statement on the event and remanded him on bail to reappear on November 7, giving time to clarify what had happened.

Stealing sheep

VANCE Kawana Wharepapa appeared in court jointly charged with the theft and slaughter of a sheep.

Judge Bidois heard Wharepapa was an accomplice of James Kingi, who had appeared in court on the same charge earlier this month.

At Kingi’s appearance, Judge Christopher Harding heard that Kingi had driven his truck to a farm and taken a sheep to his vehicle, snapping its neck.

Judge Bidois heard Wharepapa had been in the vehicle and assisted in the theft and slaughter.

The sheep was valued at $250 and Wharepapa was ordered to pay $125 in reparation for his half share.

Arrogant offence

WHITNEY Lee Drummond pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified on Bridge Street.
Judge Bidois said the offending was a result of “arrogance”, as Drummond had been speeding and not wearing a seatbelt, causing police to stop her.

Drummond was fined $350 and disqualified from driving for six months.

Asking for trouble

IVAN Reginald Samson pleaded guilty to driving with more than four times the legal limit of breath alcohol.

On August 10, Samson was found to be driving with 1002mcg of breath alcohol.

“That’s drunk, you were asking for trouble,” Judge Bidois said.

Samson was ordered to complete 160 hours of community work and sentenced to 12 months supervision with conditions.

“Drink drive again and you’ll go to jail. Make sure you comply with this sentence,” Judge Bidois said.

Arrogant and stupid

JUDAS Riri appeared in court on his fourth driving while disqualified charge this year.

Judge Bidois said the re-offending was arrogant and stupid, remanding Riri on bail to reappear on December 19.

Judge Bidois said if there was no suitable address for home detention, the likely outcome would be imprisonment.