THE would-be robber of the Westpac Bank in Opotiki has been given jail time, and time to deal with his meth addiction.

Creedence Hudson, 27, sought a sentence of home detention when he appeared in the Opotiki District Court last Thursday.

Directly addressing Judge Louis Bidois from the dock, Hudson gave several reasons he believed he was eligible for home detention.

“I’ve had lots of time to reflect on my past crimes,” he said.

He also claimed “with confidence” that he would not offend again, and said he had worked on his methamphetamine addiction.

“I can assure you all, I will not be offending again,” said Hudson.

Judge Bidois said Hudson did not understand the significance of the offending, with his poor attitude reflecting this.

On October 21 last year, at 2.30am, Hudson climbed onto the roof of the Westpac Bank and gaining access using a pair of tin snips.

Judge Bidois said Hudson then fell into the building and began destroying file cabinets and tellers’ boxes, searching for money.

He also attempted to enter the bank safe, before he was confronted and arrested by police.
Judge Bidois said the lack of thought or sophistication involved could be attributed to

Hudson’s methamphetamine use and addiction.

“[This] suggests his mind was affected by drugs, in this case methamphetamine,” he said.

Hudson was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment without leave to apply for home detention.


Dishonesty offences

TE Whiu Ranapia, 23, pleaded guilty to two charges of shoplifting and the fraudulent use of a stolen Mastercard when he appeared in the Opotiki District Court on Thursday.

Judge Louis Bidois noted Ranapia had a history of dishonesty offences, and existing sentences of community work.

The judge cancelled Ranapia’s existing community work sentence and imposed a new sentence of 320 hours of community work, and nine months’ supervision.

He was also ordered to pay $176 in reparation.

Nasty assault on driver

AYDEN Kevin Hustler pleaded guilty to assault with intent to injure.

The court heard how the 27-year-old had been drinking for two days with others when the group decided to get into a vehicle, owned and driven by the victim.

Upon the victim’s refusal to drive the group to Tauranga, where they planned to continue drinking, Judge Bidois said Hustler, and potentially the others, assaulted him.

The man suffered cuts, bruising and swelling to the head, and required hospital care for his injuries.

After this, another member of the group took and destroyed the victim’s vehicle.

Judge Bidois described the offence as a “nasty assault”, and said he was not convinced Hustler was remorseful.

Hustler was sentenced to three months’ community detention and ordered to pay $700 in emotional harm reparation to the victim.

Hungry man slaughters cow

MATTHEW Taine Ruka Howe pleaded guilty to the theft and slaughter of a cow and driving dangerously.

A charge of threatening to kill was withdrawn by police.

Judge Bidois heard Howe had entered a field, slaughtered and gutted a cow on the owner’s property overnight on September 3.

In explanation he said he had never slaughtered a cow before and wanted to see what it was like.

Howe spoke from the dock and said he was also hungry at the time.

“I’ve seen a lot of hungry people that never killed a cow,” Judge Bidois said.

Howe claimed to have paid $1200 to the victims to cover the cost of the slaughtered cow and claimed he had given the receipt to lawyer Whare Hika. However, Mr Hika did not recall this.

Judge Bidois said the payment would
be confirmed with the victims, and if it had been made, that would be the end
of the matter.

On the charge of dangerous driving, Judge Bidois said Howe had driven at speed onto a kerb, forcing the victim to move evasively to avoid being struck.

On this charge Howe was disqualified from driving for six months and warned not to make things worse for himself by driving.

Drunk with a knife

THOMAS Sonny Joe Kora Taiapa was found guilty of possession of an offensive weapon, namely a knife.

Judge Bidois said Taiapa had been “grossly intoxicated” at the time and had retrieved the knife after an argument. It was found hidden in his pants.

Taiapa was sentenced to 120 hours of community work and ordered to surrender the knife.

Bash and slash of brother

Waiata Smith pleaded guilty to assaulting her brother with a weapon and assaulting a nine-month-old baby by throwing it down onto a mattress.

Judge Bidois heard the 18-year-old threw the baby to a mattress on the floor, then proceeded to strike her brother on the head with a bottle.

After this, she went to the kitchen and returned with two knives, which she used to slice her brother’s foot open, requiring hospital treatment.

Judge Bidois sentenced Smith to 18 months of intensive supervision and 110 hours of community work.

Bail denied

ISRAEL Hori Anaru Tai pleaded guilty to burglary, unlawfully taking a vehicle, procuring or possessing methamphetamine, unlawfully carrying a firearm and escaping police custody.

Judge Bidois noted Tai had been previously deported from Australia for criminal activities and refused a request for bail, instead remanding him in custody until his next appearance on February 27.

Community work on drug charges

VERONICA Marie Williams, 39, appeared on a mix of new and existing drugs charges.

The existing charges were two charges of supplying methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine-related utensils.

The new charges were possession of a cannabis plant and possession of a methamphetamine pipe, both of which Williams pleaded guilty to.

Judge Bidois heard these offences had taken place while Williams was on bail for her existing charges.

“Offending while on bail is not a good look,” Judge Bidois said.

Judge Bidois said a sentence of community work would allow the existing sentence of 12 months’ home detention to continue.

Williams was sentenced to 160 hours of community work and ordered to forfeit all methamphetamine utensils.

“If you breach you will go to jail. If you reoffend, you will go to jail,” Judge Bidois said.

“There is only one person to blame, and that is yourself.”

Seventh drink drive charge

MATU Taera Harris pleaded guilty to driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Judge Bidois noted Harris had been speeding at the time of the offence, which was Harris’ seventh drink driving charge.

When stopped by police Harris had a breath alcohol level of 648 millilitres of alcohol per litre of breath, more than double the legal limit.

Judge Bidois sentenced the 54-year-old to 240 hours of community work and disqualified him from holding a licence for 12 months.

Prison likely

ESTHER Corlett pleaded guilty to the unlawful possession of three weapons.

The weapons were located in Corlett’s home, and were a modified sawn-off double-barrelled shotgun, a .410 shotgun and a .30 – .60 rifle.

The 34-year-old was remanded to reappear on February 27.

“The court is likely to consider a sentence of imprisonment,” Judge Bidois said.