Accused act ‘like apes’
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.