Ac­cused act ‘like apes’

Rotorua Review - - OUT & ABOUT - BENN BATH­GATE

A High Court judge has de­scribed the be­hav­iour of the three men charged with the Kin­loch mur­der of Scott Henry as ‘‘like apes in a cage’’.

Scott Henry was shot dead at his Kin­loch prop­erty in July.

The three men; Whaka­pumai­tanga Clarke, 25, Cody Paul Grif­fin, 25, Daniel Ge­orge Chase, 22, all face charges of mur­der and ag­gra­vated rob­bery while Natasha Dawn Telford, 43, faces one charge of ag­gra­vated rob­bery.

All four ap­peared via Au­dio Vis­ual Link at the High Court in Ro­torua where Jus­tice Ti­mothy Brewer en­tered pleas of not guilty to all charges on their be­half.

Near the end of the hear­ing, the three men were seen swap­ping gang signs and ges­tures with sup­port­ers in the gallery.

‘‘That lit­tle ex­hi­bi­tion by your clients, should I or­der them to ap­pear in court in per­son so I can more read­ily ap­ply con­tempt ju­ris­dic­tion,’’ said Brewer.

De­fence lawyers Max Simp­kins, act­ing for Chase and Clarke, and Jonathan Temm, act­ing for Grif­fin, told Brewer that while they did not see the ac­tiv­ity in ques­tion, they would warn their clients about fu­ture be­hav­iour.

‘‘Act­ing like apes in a cage and mak­ing all sorts of ges­tures, the sort of thing that if they’d been in a court be­fore me I’d have been talk­ing about con­tempt,’’ said Brewer.

‘‘All three were mak­ing hand ges­tures that at the very least showed dis­re­spect.’’

Brewer said that as the men ap­peared via AVL, ‘‘I could do noth­ing about it’’ and said he wanted their next ap­pear­ance to be in per­son.

Be­fore the ges­ture fra­cas, and Brewer en­ter­ing the pleas, there was ob­jec­tion from Temm and Telford’s lawyer Her­man Roose about pleas be­ing en­tered.

Both said they had had no chance to speak to their clients, or prop­erly ex­am­ine po­lice dis­clo­sure.

Roose said there was a dan­ger the de­fen­dants may be­lieve ‘‘ex­pe­di­ency has over­rid­den fair­ness’’.

Brewer said en­ter­ing the not guilty pleas would not re­move the op­tion for the de­fen­dants to re­ceive early plea credit and set a case re­view date of Novem­ber 29.

He also sched­uled a trial date of Au­gust 6, 2018, at Hamil­ton.

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