Ruatoria District Court news

Sentencing for David Marsden Houkamau, 62, who admitted assaulting someone in a family relationship and strangulation, was adjourned until July 18.

The adjournment in Ruatoria District Court was for an updated pre-sentence report and for Houkamau to try to find an address at which to serve an electronically-monitored sentence.

Karauria Taina Hoani Keelan, 24, appeared on relatively old charges to which he had previously pleaded guilty — drink-driving, two counts of assaulting a female, and two breaches of bail.

He was further remanded on bail until July 18 for a pre-sentence report and to apply for legal aid.

Judge Warren Cathcart said Keelan appeared to have been moving around the country avoiding sentence.

For assaulting police, which she admitted, Nicole Lee Kennedy, café worker, was sentenced to two months community detention.

Kennedy kicked and bit an officer after being stopped for breath-alcohol testing in Tokomaru Bay during September, 2017.

The case had taken some time to reach sentencing due to Kennedy’s earlier dispute around the facts of what occurred. She recently abandoned that dispute.

A charge of refusing to give a blood specimen was previously withdrawn.

Charged with defrauding the Ministry of Social Development, Marcelle Anntonieo Haenga, was further remanded for a case review hearing on August 22.

Haenga pleaded not guilty to five charges of fraudulent use of a document to obtain an advantage and a charge of obtaining more than $1000 by deception.

James Matthew Rangiwai, 32, forestry worker, pleaded guilty to being unlawfully in a building, and intentional damage.

He was further remanded on bail for sentence on July 18.

The matter was referred to the restorative justice process. The victim was a family member.

An intoxicated man crashed his mother-in-law’s vehicle, which he took without asking, to go looking for a party.

Pamona Samuel Junior Samupo, 27, fell asleep at the driver’s wheel. The car left the road on a moderate bend near Hicks Bay and was extensively damaged before it came to rest on a rock shelf 20 metres above another part of the road.

Samupo was lucky not to have killed himself, his partner, or their unborn child, Judge Cathcart said.

The couple did not know about the pregnancy until the woman was examined in hospital immediately after the crash.

Samupo pleaded guilty to unlawfully taking a vehicle, drink-driving (140.5mgs), and careless driving.

The offences were his first.

He was sentenced to nine months supervision, ordered to pay $500 for emotional harm to his mother-in -aw, and disqualified from driving for six months.

The court was told Samupo was remorseful, had since apologised to his in-law, and arranged to pay her insurance excess.

Admitting he drove off without paying for petrol, Jamie Migowl Thomas, 29, carpet layer, pleaded guilty to theft (under $500). He was sentenced to 40 hours community work and ordered to pay for the fuel — $94.

For threatening language, which he admitted, Richard Harrison, 65, labourer, was convicted and ordered to come up for sentence within six months.

The court heard the charge arose out of a dispute with a family member over land, but that the matter had since resolved.

Harrison and the complainant were now back on friendly terms.

Lance Gregory Butler, 28, pleaded guilty to wilfully damaging a fence, the property of Housing New Zealand. He was fined $400 (costs $130).

Counsel Elliot Lynch said Butler had nearly completed repairing the fence.

Jason Walker, beneficiary, admitted driving while disqualified. He was sentenced to 40 hours community work and disqualified for six months. The vehicle, a Subaru Legacy, was confiscated.

Chevy Henry James Boyce, 20, admitted driving while disqualified. He was further remanded on bail for sentence on July 18, and to determine whether his vehicle should be confiscated.

Admitting he drove while unlicensed with a breath-alcohol level of 1014 micrograms and that he was unlicensed to drive, Hemi James Joseph Mill, 26, received four months community detention, 12 months supervision, and was disqualified for a year and a day. Mill will be subject to a zero-alcohol licence in future.

For a breach of bail, which he also admitted, Mill was convicted and discharged.

The drink-drive offence was a fourth one for Mill, his other similar convictions being in 2009, 2013, and 2014.

A drink-driver whose two passengers were injured when he lost control while speeding around a corner in a 50kmh zone in Ruatoria, had a history of similar offending, the court was told.

Tippene Ratu Chaney pleaded guilty to drink-driving (546mcg) for a third or subsequent time, driving while unlicensed, and careless use causing injury.

He received four months community detention, nine months supervision, and was disqualified from driving for a year and a day. Chaney will be subject in future to a zero-alcohol licence.

After he lost control of it, Chaney’s vehicle crashed through a stock fence and came to rest among trees, the court was told.

Chaney and the two passengers, who were family members, climbed out.

The passengers suffered cuts and abrasions to their faces. Chaney told police he had been drinking for a few hours ahead of the incident. He accepted he was speeding.

Judge Cathcart noted Chaney had four convictions for similar offending since 1994. In 1996 he was convicted on three related charges of careless driving causing injury or death, for which he had received community work type sentences.

Neville James Houia, 47, farm worker, faced charges of drink-driving (121mgs), driving while unlicensed and careless driving. He was sentenced to 60 hours community work and was disqualified from driving for six months.

Houia had no prior similar offences. He suffered facial injuries as a result of the careless driving incident.

Sentencing for David Marsden Houkamau, 62, who admitted assaulting someone in a family relationship and strangulation, was adjourned until July 18.

The adjournment in Ruatoria District Court was for an updated pre-sentence report and for Houkamau to try to find an address at which to serve an electronically-monitored sentence.

Karauria Taina Hoani Keelan, 24, appeared on relatively old charges to which he had previously pleaded guilty — drink-driving, two counts of assaulting a female, and two breaches of bail.

He was further remanded on bail until July 18 for a pre-sentence report and to apply for legal aid.

Judge Warren Cathcart said Keelan appeared to have been moving around the country avoiding sentence.

For assaulting police, which she admitted, Nicole Lee Kennedy, café worker, was sentenced to two months community detention.

Kennedy kicked and bit an officer after being stopped for breath-alcohol testing in Tokomaru Bay during September, 2017.

The case had taken some time to reach sentencing due to Kennedy’s earlier dispute around the facts of what occurred. She recently abandoned that dispute.

A charge of refusing to give a blood specimen was previously withdrawn.

Charged with defrauding the Ministry of Social Development, Marcelle Anntonieo Haenga, was further remanded for a case review hearing on August 22.

Haenga pleaded not guilty to five charges of fraudulent use of a document to obtain an advantage and a charge of obtaining more than $1000 by deception.

James Matthew Rangiwai, 32, forestry worker, pleaded guilty to being unlawfully in a building, and intentional damage.

He was further remanded on bail for sentence on July 18.

The matter was referred to the restorative justice process. The victim was a family member.

An intoxicated man crashed his mother-in-law’s vehicle, which he took without asking, to go looking for a party.

Pamona Samuel Junior Samupo, 27, fell asleep at the driver’s wheel. The car left the road on a moderate bend near Hicks Bay and was extensively damaged before it came to rest on a rock shelf 20 metres above another part of the road.

Samupo was lucky not to have killed himself, his partner, or their unborn child, Judge Cathcart said.

The couple did not know about the pregnancy until the woman was examined in hospital immediately after the crash.

Samupo pleaded guilty to unlawfully taking a vehicle, drink-driving (140.5mgs), and careless driving.

The offences were his first.

He was sentenced to nine months supervision, ordered to pay $500 for emotional harm to his mother-in -aw, and disqualified from driving for six months.

The court was told Samupo was remorseful, had since apologised to his in-law, and arranged to pay her insurance excess.

Admitting he drove off without paying for petrol, Jamie Migowl Thomas, 29, carpet layer, pleaded guilty to theft (under $500). He was sentenced to 40 hours community work and ordered to pay for the fuel — $94.

For threatening language, which he admitted, Richard Harrison, 65, labourer, was convicted and ordered to come up for sentence within six months.

The court heard the charge arose out of a dispute with a family member over land, but that the matter had since resolved.

Harrison and the complainant were now back on friendly terms.

Lance Gregory Butler, 28, pleaded guilty to wilfully damaging a fence, the property of Housing New Zealand. He was fined $400 (costs $130).

Counsel Elliot Lynch said Butler had nearly completed repairing the fence.

Jason Walker, beneficiary, admitted driving while disqualified. He was sentenced to 40 hours community work and disqualified for six months. The vehicle, a Subaru Legacy, was confiscated.

Chevy Henry James Boyce, 20, admitted driving while disqualified. He was further remanded on bail for sentence on July 18, and to determine whether his vehicle should be confiscated.

Admitting he drove while unlicensed with a breath-alcohol level of 1014 micrograms and that he was unlicensed to drive, Hemi James Joseph Mill, 26, received four months community detention, 12 months supervision, and was disqualified for a year and a day. Mill will be subject to a zero-alcohol licence in future.

For a breach of bail, which he also admitted, Mill was convicted and discharged.

The drink-drive offence was a fourth one for Mill, his other similar convictions being in 2009, 2013, and 2014.

A drink-driver whose two passengers were injured when he lost control while speeding around a corner in a 50kmh zone in Ruatoria, had a history of similar offending, the court was told.

Tippene Ratu Chaney pleaded guilty to drink-driving (546mcg) for a third or subsequent time, driving while unlicensed, and careless use causing injury.

He received four months community detention, nine months supervision, and was disqualified from driving for a year and a day. Chaney will be subject in future to a zero-alcohol licence.

After he lost control of it, Chaney’s vehicle crashed through a stock fence and came to rest among trees, the court was told.

Chaney and the two passengers, who were family members, climbed out.

The passengers suffered cuts and abrasions to their faces. Chaney told police he had been drinking for a few hours ahead of the incident. He accepted he was speeding.

Judge Cathcart noted Chaney had four convictions for similar offending since 1994. In 1996 he was convicted on three related charges of careless driving causing injury or death, for which he had received community work type sentences.

Neville James Houia, 47, farm worker, faced charges of drink-driving (121mgs), driving while unlicensed and careless driving. He was sentenced to 60 hours community work and was disqualified from driving for six months.

Houia had no prior similar offences. He suffered facial injuries as a result of the careless driving incident.

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