Paua seller threatens officers with knife
A man caught illegally selling paua angrily called fisheries officers "honkies" before threatening to "sort them out" with a butcher's knife.
David Mira Edmonds, 56, pleaded guilty in Masterton District Court yesterday to threatening two fisheries officers and illegally selling paua collected under a customary fishing permit.
The permit allowed him to collect 60 paua for his daughter's 21st birthday, but he was caught selling paua fritters at a temporary food stall outside Masterton's Golden Shears competition in March.
He had sold a dozen fritters at $5 each, and had 5kg of fritter mix remaining when caught.
When approached by the two fisheries officers, Edmonds started swearing at them and abusing them, lawyer Ben Humphrey, for the Primary Industries Ministry, said. At one point, Edmonds called them "honky c...s".
When the officers tried to take his permit to make a copy, he became increasingly aggressive and threatening.
"I'm going to get my butcher's knife and f...ing sort you out," Edmonds told them.
Judge Michael Behrens said Edmonds' language was racist.
"You've been a man who's made a number of threats and it's got you into trouble. There is a racist element here and I'm going to take that into account."
Judge Behrens sentenced Edmonds to 120 hours of community work.
Edmonds' lawyer, Peter Stevens, said that his client had correctly applied for a customary permit, and had secured a food permit from Masterton District Council.
"He had gone through all the right channels."
His client had later apologised to the officers for his behaviour, Mr Stevens said.
Edmonds also pleaded guilty to illegally claiming benefits of nearly $5000, and was sentenced to a further 60 hours of community work.
He was now repaying the money, a lawyer for the Social Development Ministry said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you always wear a helmet while cycling?Related story: Cyclists creative on cycle helmet waivers