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Gisborne District Court news

A man assaulted his former partner while returning their children from a camping trip, Gisborne District Court was told.

Mac Tarei, 39, pleaded guilty to assault on a person in a family relationship and breach of a protection order.

He was sentenced to 130 hours community work and nine months’ supervision.

Tarei admitted throwing a phone charging plug at the woman, which hit her in the leg. The woman had gone outside to greet the children as they arrived home. She and Tarei argued after she realised he had also included another child on the trip, to which she objected.

Judge Warren Cathcart said while the offence was lower end, it was aggravated by a number of previous breaches of the protection order, mainly in 2017 and 2018.

After crashing a stolen vehicle early one morning into a paddock on SH57, a man threw a wheelie bin at a passing car, the court was told.

When the driver got out to assess the damage, Tyrone Howard Marshall took to the car with a wooden club, smashing the driver’s window and damaging a wing mirror.

The driver sped off and Marshall fled to a nearby house, demanding someone take him to Palmerston North Hospital. Police located him there later that day — December 19, last year.

The vehicle Marshall crashed was a black Subaru Forester, valued at $8000, reported stolen 10 days earlier. Police noted its ignition had been tampered with and a small rear window smashed. It had been fitted with registration plates also previously reported stolen by a different owner.

Marshall subsequently pleaded guilty to receiving (the car and registration plates), careless driving, and wilful damage.

He appeared for sentence on those and a later charge of drink-driving (656mcg), to which he also pleaded guilty, arising out of an incident on February 2, this year.

On that occasion, police noticed him driving in darkness without lights, north on SH1.

He was given verbal warnings for several items found in his car — a tomahawk, cannabis, ecstasy, and a meth pipe.

Judge Cathcart imposed 10 months’ imprisonment but converted it to four-and-a -half months home detention, with six months standard and special post-detention conditions.

Marshall was disqualified from driving for six months and ordered to make payments totalling $1000 in relation to the receiving and wilful damage charges and to make an emotional harm payment of $400 to the victim in the roadside incident.

A man’s sudden spate of thefts from shops included him taking two security cameras from the outside wall of a local butcher’s shop.

Some of the goods he took supported his claim of trying to provide for his pregnant partner while without an income. But other things he took seemed to be due to greed, Judge Cathcart said.

Logan Peter Quigley, 33, building company project manager, pleaded guilty to five charges of theft under $500 and a breach of bail.

He was sentenced to two months’ community detention, 15 months’ intensive supervision, and ordered to pay reparation totalling about $450.

It was only Quigley’s recent employment that stopped him imposing a more appropriate sentence of home detention, the judge said.

Full-time employment was “like gold” on the East Coast and Quigley should count himself lucky, Judge Cathcart said.

The judge noted that although technically now a recidivist shoplifter, Quigley had no prior history for this type of offending. He inferred from the recommendation in a presentence report for the term of intensive supervision, that something had happened in Quigley’s life to send him “off the rails” and background information seemed also to support it.

The charges all related to June, this year, when Quigley’s spree of offending began with him taking goods from a supermarket and two exterior security cameras from a butcher’s shop.

The following day he stole a car charging kit from a chain store.

The day after that, police looking for him, spotted him walking on Gladstone Road. He was searched, and found to have two pairs of binoculars, still in their packaging, stuffed down his top. They were stolen from an outdoor shop.

Reparation was imposed for most of the items except those in two of the charges, which were recovered in a saleable condition.

Having led police on a car chase through Te Karaka, a man told officers they only caught him because he didn’t know the road.

James Hemi Biddle, 34, appeared for sentence in relation to that and three other incidents including one sparking another police pursuit.

He pleaded guilty to four charges of driving while disqualified — all third or subsequent offences, reckless driving, careless driving, failing to stop for police flashing lights, possession of cannabis, and two breaches of bail.

Judge Cathcart imposed five months community detention (curfew 8pm to 5am), 160 hours community work, and disqualified Biddle from driving for a total of 18 months.

The judge said the sentence should have been home detention. He only imposed community detention to ensure Biddle did not lose his full employment and stable accommodation.

“Retaining a job in these current circumstances is crucial,” the judge said.

Summarising the offending, the judge said Biddle was indefinitely disqualified from driving in April, 2018. He had clocked up three driving while disqualified type offences.

On June 18 last year, police noticed him driving as he pulled out of a service station in Te Karaka. Biddle sped off accelerating up to 100kmh along 50km-zoned Library, Barry, and Balfour, roads. He continued at speed along Kanakanaia Road but lost control when he turned on to a gravel road. His vehicle slid and came to a stop in mud.

Biddle reportedly said to officers, “Why should I stop, I don’t care, the only reason you caught me was ‘cos I don’t know the road”.

The following month, police went to Biddle’s Rutene Road home to arrest him on an active warrant. Biddle was in a shed. Officers noticed a live .270 Winchester bullet on a windowsill prompting a search under the Search and Surveillance Act. They found 478grams of cannabis in a container behind a door, which Biddle later admitted was his and said was all low-quality “cabbage”.

In October, he again drove while disqualified.

On December 29 police spotted him driving on Monkhouse Street in Tolaga Bay. Biddle did a U-turn and drove off at speed, again hitting 100kmh in 50kmh zones. He crossed the centre line in Solander Street and turned into Parkinson Street. Police abandoned a pursuit of him as it was too dangerous. There were lots of people out and about and children playing in a nearby park.

A young woman was caught driving while disqualified three times, her fourth, fifth, and sixth offences.

Teegan Faye Marion Franklin, 22, pleaded guilty to the charges. She was sentenced to four months’ community detention (curfew 7pm to 7am), nine months’ supervision, and disqualified from driving for 12 months. The owners of the vehicles she used will be warned those vehicles will be confiscated if used for any re-offence.