Police summary a fiction - Taueki
MATHEW GROCOTT MATHEW.GROCOTT@MSL.CO.NZ
An advocate for the restoration of Lake Horowhenua has attacked the police's handling of the latest allegations against him in court.
Philip Taueki, who has lived at the lake for more than a decade, appeared in the Levin District Court yesterday on a number of charges including assault, burglary and escaping custody.
He told Judge Gerard Lynch that the previous 15 charges police had put before him had been either withdrawn or overturned on appeal.
Taueki said Levin police had double standards when dealing with allegations against him and they ignored evidence that supported his innocence.
Taueki has been charged with intentional damage, assault with a weapon and two counts of male assaults female, after an incident at a meeting in Hokio Beach on March 22.
He is also charged with causing intentional damage and burglary of the rowing club building at Lake Horowhenua, and with escaping police custody after he was arrested on those charges.
While Taueki was allegedly on the run from police they searched the former nursery where he lives at the lake, finding some cannabis, drug paraphernalia and a trailer they say was stolen.
As a result Taueki is also charged with possession of cannabis, two counts of possessing drugs utensils and one of receiving stolen property.
He denies all of the charges.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Simon Chamberlain said police had found a stolen trailer at Taueki's property worth $7000. Taueki had bought the trailer for $900 and told police when questioned about it that he had asked the seller if it was "hot".
Representing himself in court, Taueki said the trailer was bought on behalf of a trust for the restoration of the lake and he had asked the person selling if it was stolen, because he was being careful. He had also checked whether the person selling it was the person it was registered to.
"I bought it off the registered owner, so good luck to them."
He said when police attended the Hokio incident they only spoke to the complainant before arresting him.
"Other witnesses have gone into the station afterwards and been told police were busy," Taueki said. "They don't want to hear any evidence that isn't against me."
Taueki said the police version of what happened that day was not a summary of facts but "a summary of fiction".
In relation to the drugs charges Taueki said he wanted to know where police had found the items. There were two buildings on the property, he said, one of which he lived in and the second that was used by a number of people connected to the lake.
"It's unlikely they can prove anything," he said.
Taueki was bailed and will appear in court again next month.
- Manawatu Standard
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