Four sen­tenced over riot at funeral

Bay of Plenty Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

Three Black Power mem­bers and an as­so­ciate have been sen­tenced for their roles in a vi­o­lent gang clash in Whakata¯ne dur­ing a funeral for a ri­val gang mem­ber.

The drama un­folded as a Mon­grel Mob funeral pro­ces­sion for se­nior Kaw­erau mob­ster Tahu Kingi pro­ceeded through the streets of Whakata¯ne town­ship on Jan­uary 17, 2017.

Ron­ald Taita­panui, ear­lier found guilty at a jury trial of one charge each of ri­ot­ing and par­tic­i­pat­ing in an or­gan­ised crim­i­nal group, has been jailed for three years and three months.

Jus­tice Gra­ham Lang told Taita­panui in the High Court at Tau­ranga on Thurs­day that given he was at the cen­tre of the riot, and his prior con­vic­tions, a prison sen­tence was war­ranted.

The court heard that on learn­ing about King’s funeral pro­ces­sion about 30 patched Black Power mem­bers con­gre­gated at Whakata¯ne Bridge to meet the ri­val gang mem­bers.

When the pro­ces­sion en­tered the town from a dif­fer­ent route, Taita­panui and oth­ers gath­ered at var­i­ous places to con­front the mourn­ers, in­clud­ing at a nearby ser­vice lane.

Taita­panui and oth­ers be­came in­volved in the all-out riot af­ter some Black Power mem­bers threw rocks, sticks and bot­tles at the ve­hi­cles in the funeral pro­ces­sion.

Black Power mem­bers took ex­cep­tion to the Mon­grel Mob mourn­ers driv­ing through “their ter­ri­tory”.

Shots were also fired in the di­rec­tion of some of the mourn­ers and seven Ro­torua po­lice of­fi­cers who were try­ing to quell the vi­o­lence, the court heard.

Black Power se­nior mem­ber Karanei­hana Taipeti was jailed for five years in June af­ter he ad­mit­ted those firearm of­fences, and par­tic­i­pat­ing in an or­gan­ised crim­i­nal group.

Jus­tice Lang also sen­tenced Pairama Marou, who ear­lier pleaded guilty to a charge of ri­ot­ing, to six months’ com­mu­nity de­ten­tion, not­ing his in­volve­ment was rel­a­tively mi­nor.

Lionel Te Ri­ini, who also ear­lier ad­mit­ted the same charge, was sen­tenced to six months’ home de­ten­tion which is sub­ject to a con­di­tions.

Te Reneti Ta­rau, who was found guilty by a jury of charges of par­tic­i­pat­ing in an or­gan­ised crim­i­nal group and ri­ot­ing, was sen­tenced to six months’ home de­ten­tion.

Jus­tice Lang said he took into ac­count Ta­rau was not a Black Power mem­ber and was re­luc­tantly caught up in the events that day.

“I’m sat­is­fied that while you han­dled one of the firearms brought to the scene of the in­ci­dent, you did not ex­er­cise con­trol over it,” he said.

Jus­tice Lang said he also ac­cepted Ta­rau had shown gen­uine re­morse and was com­mit­ted to stay­ing away from his Black Power as­so­ci­ates and re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing him­self.

Most of the oth­ers charged in re­la­tion to the riot were sen­tenced ear­lier. raft of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tive

Photo / Sup­plied

Peo­ple at a work­ing bee muck in at Ta­puika pa¯ site in Te Puke, thanks to a com­mu­nity grant.

Three gang mem­bers and an as­so­ciate were sen­tenced yes­ter­day for their part in the vi­o­lent riot.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.