District Court News

Police accepted a man’s claim that his involvement in a commercial drug dealing venture went no further than rolling “tinnies” for the dealer.

All he received in return was cannabis for his own use.

Nigel Haronga, 24, pleaded guilty in Gisborne District Court to possession of cannabis for supply. He was sentenced to six months home detention.

Haronga took off through a window of his house when police started searching the premises.

Judge Cathcart said the amount of the drug found was moderate to serious.

There was a 20-litre bucket with cannabis head material, 11 snap-lock bags containing an ounce of cannabis head material — typically “deal bags” — and 102 cannabis tinnies divided among other zip-lock bags.

Also found was unused aluminium foil and weighing scales.

Haronga’s fingerprints were found on the aluminium foil around the tinnies.

Counsel Jonathan Natusch said his client did not consider there would be a commercial element to his role as he was not getting any financial gain, only cannabis for his own use.

Mr Natusch disputed whether there should be uplift for the previous like conviction, saying in this case Haronga was not actively involved in selling the drug.

Judge Cathcart disagreed, saying Haronga accepted a party role.

The sentencing exercise included two months uplift for the previous offence.

Airoe Tuatini Aupouri, 26, was in breach of his zero-alcohol licence when he was caught drink-driving (599mcg) for a third or subsequent time.

He was sentenced to two months community detention, nine months supervision and was disqualified from driving indefinitely.

He will continue to be subject to a zero-alcohol licence in future.

A letter will be sent to the registered owner of the vehicle, warning it will be forfeited if Aupouri uses it to reoffend.

For a fourth drink-drive offence (890mcg), which he admitted, Daniel James Keegan, 31, baker, received nine months supervision, 120 hours community work, and was disqualified from driving for a year and a day.

The owner of the vehicle will be warned it could be confiscated if Keegan uses it to reoffend.

Judge Cathcart said the sentence reflected Keegan was fully employed, his poor social circumstances and a gap of seven years since his last offence.

For a fourth drink-drive offence, which she admitted, Roberta Monteith, 44, was sentenced to nine months supervision, 120 hours community work, and disqualified from driving for a year and a day.

She will be subject to a zero-alcohol licence in future.

The owner of the vehicle will be warned it will be forfeited if Monteith uses it to reoffend.

Bryan David Welsh, 43, forest worker, pleaded guilty to driving with excess breath-alcohol (747mcg) for the third or subsequent time, his third.

He was fined $900 (costs $130) and disqualified from driving for a year and a day.

The circumstances of the offending would otherwise have resulted in community work, Judge Cathcart said. The court accepted Welsh was an unsuitable candidate due to a medical issue.

Police accepted a man’s claim that his involvement in a commercial drug dealing venture went no further than rolling “tinnies” for the dealer.

All he received in return was cannabis for his own use.

Nigel Haronga, 24, pleaded guilty in Gisborne District Court to possession of cannabis for supply. He was sentenced to six months home detention.

Haronga took off through a window of his house when police started searching the premises.

Judge Cathcart said the amount of the drug found was moderate to serious.

There was a 20-litre bucket with cannabis head material, 11 snap-lock bags containing an ounce of cannabis head material — typically “deal bags” — and 102 cannabis tinnies divided among other zip-lock bags.

Also found was unused aluminium foil and weighing scales.

Haronga’s fingerprints were found on the aluminium foil around the tinnies.

Counsel Jonathan Natusch said his client did not consider there would be a commercial element to his role as he was not getting any financial gain, only cannabis for his own use.

Mr Natusch disputed whether there should be uplift for the previous like conviction, saying in this case Haronga was not actively involved in selling the drug.

Judge Cathcart disagreed, saying Haronga accepted a party role.

The sentencing exercise included two months uplift for the previous offence.

Airoe Tuatini Aupouri, 26, was in breach of his zero-alcohol licence when he was caught drink-driving (599mcg) for a third or subsequent time.

He was sentenced to two months community detention, nine months supervision and was disqualified from driving indefinitely.

He will continue to be subject to a zero-alcohol licence in future.

A letter will be sent to the registered owner of the vehicle, warning it will be forfeited if Aupouri uses it to reoffend.

For a fourth drink-drive offence (890mcg), which he admitted, Daniel James Keegan, 31, baker, received nine months supervision, 120 hours community work, and was disqualified from driving for a year and a day.

The owner of the vehicle will be warned it could be confiscated if Keegan uses it to reoffend.

Judge Cathcart said the sentence reflected Keegan was fully employed, his poor social circumstances and a gap of seven years since his last offence.

For a fourth drink-drive offence, which she admitted, Roberta Monteith, 44, was sentenced to nine months supervision, 120 hours community work, and disqualified from driving for a year and a day.

She will be subject to a zero-alcohol licence in future.

The owner of the vehicle will be warned it will be forfeited if Monteith uses it to reoffend.

Bryan David Welsh, 43, forest worker, pleaded guilty to driving with excess breath-alcohol (747mcg) for the third or subsequent time, his third.

He was fined $900 (costs $130) and disqualified from driving for a year and a day.

The circumstances of the offending would otherwise have resulted in community work, Judge Cathcart said. The court accepted Welsh was an unsuitable candidate due to a medical issue.

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