Scrap metal dealer loses appeal
A scrap metal dealer who received stolen cars has failed in his bid to get his convictions overturned.
Former South Auckland doctor Rhys Michael Cullen was found guilty in the Manukau District Court of receiving 15 stolen cars at his scrap yard, Tamaki Metals in Otahuhu.
He is yet to be sentenced.
The court was told that there were "obvious warning signs" that the cars were stolen.
Most were roadworthy and in good condition and some had broken side windows or ignition barrels.
Personal belongings were still inside some cars and most did not have registration plates.
Many vehicles were also recorded simply as "car" and no identifying details of the seller were given.
Cullen appealed his convictions on the grounds that he was not the only "directing mind" of the scrap metal yard and his role was largely administrative.
But Court of Appeal Justice Douglas White dismissed the appeal, saying Cullen had sole legal responsibility for the establishment and operation of the company.
Proceeds from the scrap yard were used to fund the Tamaki Sports Academy, an organisation for South Auckland youth "who are alienated from the mainstream school system but show sporting talent".
It wasn't the first time Cullen has appeared before authorities.
In 2007 the one-time Papakura GP was stripped of his practising licence after prescribing more than 46,000 Sudomyl tablets without medical or clinical justification.
The tablets contain pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient in P.