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Gisborne District Court news

Police have been granted leave to uplift a charge faced by Murray Morelli Sheridan, 28, orchard worker, from one of possessing cannabis to one of possessing it for supply.

He was allegedly found with 2.5 kilograms of cannabis — 91 times the level at which it is presumed in law to be for supply.

Police allege some of it was already separated into 13 “ounce” bag lots and some was loose head material in two buckets.

Sheridan was remanded on bail without plea to appear in Gisborne District Court on November 7.

Admitting she used a telephone for fictitious purposes, Pirihira Susan Waara was further remanded on bail for sentence. She will also be sentenced for a previously-admitted arson arising out of an incident in which she set fire to papers in the seclusion room of Gisborne Hospital’s ward 11.

A teenager who escaped police custody in September and was subsequently remanded in custody, has pleaded guilty to seven of nine charges against him.

Paora Peachey, 18, is yet to plead to charges of attempted sexual connection and an associated charge of wilful damage.

He pleaded guilty to an unrelated charge of wilful damage, three counts of burglary, escaping custody, unlawfully taking a vehicle and resisting police.

The worst part of an incident in which her partner punched her in the face was that he did so in front of children, a woman told the court.

Leighton McIlroy, 24, was sentenced on a charge of assaulting a female and earlier, unrelated offences — three counts of driving while forbidden, failing to stop for an enforcement officer, giving false details, unlawfully carrying ammunition, theft and breaching bail.

He was sentenced to nine months supervision and disqualified from driving for 12 months.

A protection order was granted in favour of McIlroy’s partner and children.

The judge said McIlroy had served the equivalent of three months imprisonment while on remand in custody.

Counsel Amanda Courtney said he had been remanded in custody due to his substance abuse and failure to attend court.

He had served what could be deemed a punitive part of a sentence and now needed the court’s assistance with rehabilitative support.

In a statement to the court, the woman said the incident (fuelled by jealousy when the couple were drinking) was the first time McIlroy had been violent towards her. The worst part was that it occurred in front of their son and a nephew.

Judge Raumati noted McIlroy’s history showed he had three convictions for assaults in 2015, one described as family violence.

Phillip Paul Tahuri admitted threatening to kill, two counts of threatening behaviour, eight breaches of a protection order and a breach of home detention.

He was further remanded for sentence on November 30. A pre-sentence report was ordered and will assess the suitability of an electronically-monitored sentence.

Admitting 21 charges, including five residential burglaries, Tuahae Aupouri, 29, farmhand, was remanded in custody for sentence on all matters on December 6.

The burglaries were in Jellicoe Street, Oswald Street, Stout Street, Wildish Street and Parau Street bgetween May and September.

The other charges were five of driving while disqualified, all third or subsequent offences, five breaches of bail, unlawfully carrying and unlawful possession of a firearm (a shotgun), breaching community work, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug utensils, and giving false details.

An application for electronically-monitored bail was scheduled for November 7.

He stole from shops 13 times, taking more than $1300 worth of goods, minimised and justified the offending, and had previously failed to comply with community-based sentences.

But the sentence recommended by the Department of Corrections for Katene Haapu, 34, remained a community-based one.

Haapu’s claim he was now ready to confront the complex issues underlying his offending was accepted. He was given the opportunity to do so.

Judge Haamiora Raumati imposed a term of nine months supervision and 200 hours community work. A further 40 hours community work was imposed in lieu of cancelled fines.

The total of the fines was almost the same as the reparation owing, the judge noted.

Haapu could now concentrate on paying that.

Counsel Elliot Lynch said Haapu’s offending was due to his circumstances — extreme financial hardship and pending birth of a child.

The judge noted some of the items taken could be described as “luxury” ones. Mr Lynch said Haapu took those not for personal use, but to sell.

The sentence of supervision will include assessment and treatment as necessary for alcohol and other drug abuse.

Hani Shilo Heitia, 29, pleaded guilty to a charge of theft from a dwelling, amended from one of using a document for a pecuniary advantage.

She was remanded on bail for a psychiatric report and sentence on December 6.

Heitia is yet to plead to two alleged breaches of bail.

Peter Jackson Tu, 22, admitted a charge of theft of a .22 rifle. He was further remanded in custody until November 20 for sentence on this and previously-admitted matters.

A man received a Condor heavy truck valued at $25,000, the court was told.

Steve Hami Savage, 58, sawmiller, admitted the offence and was further remanded on bail for a report and sentence on December 6.

The charge is classified as category three, carrying a maximum prison term of seven years.

A driver who veered across the centre line on Oxford Street and collided with an oncoming vehicle, was found to have a breath-alcohol level of 1125 micrograms — nearly four times the 400mcg limit.

Peter John Ausburg, 50, admitted drink-driving and careless use. Both were third or subsequent offences.

He was fined a total of $1650 (with court costs $260) and banned from driving for a year and a day.

Ausburg was exempted from an alcohol interlock disqualification because he no longer has a vehicle. His was significantly damaged during the incident.

The vehicle he crashed into needed major repairs, the court was told. Ausburg was not insured. The court was not provided with a reparation schedule, so none was ordered.

Staff at a fast food restaurant reported to police their concern that a customer might have been drink-driving and intended to resume doing so.

Police found Gareth Stirling Hailey, fencer, eating the food he had bought while sitting in the driver seat of his car with keys in the ignition. Breath-tested, he returned a reading of 1074 micrograms – more than two and a half times above the criminal offence limit.

It was his third such offence.

He was fined $800 and sentenced to nine months supervision.

Judge Haamiora Raumati said the sentence recognised significant background issues to Hailey’s case.

Driving without headlights, Dyllyn Joseph Ahipene Evans attracted police attention and was found to be intoxicated.

He pleaded guilty to driving with excess breath-alcohol, a first offence. He was fined $550 (costs $130) and disqualified from driving for six months.

Ryan Edward Bailey was just outside his home when he was stopped and found to be driving with a breath-alcohol level of 502 mcg. He was fined $600 (costs $130) and disqualified under alcohol interlock legislation. It was Bailey’s second such offence within five years.

Buck Atkins, 25, pleaded guilty to driving with excess breath-alcohol for a third or subsequent time. He was sentenced to 70 hours community work and subject to disqualification under alcohol interlock legislation.

Matthew Simon Cash, 48, beneficiary, admitted drink-driving (742mcg) for a third or subsequent time, his fourth. He received 80 hours community work and was disqualified from driving for a year and a day.

Michael Stephen Semmens, 31, admitted drink-driving (460mcg), a second offence. He was fined $550 (costs $130) and disqualified from driving for six months.

Edward Maruata Brown, 40, admitted a fourth drink-drive, for which he returned a breath-alcohol reading of 926mcg.

He was remanded on bail for a report and sentence on December 6.

Isabel Fox, 54, admitted drink-driving (600 mcg) for a third or subsequent time, her third, . She was fined $800 (costs $130) and disqualified for a year and a day.

Justina Lilian Teohuka Brown, 28, admitted drink-driving (763mcg). She was further remanded on bail for sentence on December 6. An application for community work in lieu of further disqualification, will be heard then.

John Nooti Jones, forestry worker, admitted driving with excess breath-alcohol (895mcg), a first offence, and a breach of bail.

He was fined $900 (costs $130) and disqualified from driving for six months.

Daniel Marsh, 25, admitted driving while disqualified for a third or subsequent time. He was remanded on bail for sentence and an application for community work on December 6.