Local went to bashed officer's aid

BY DIANE JOYCE
Last updated 05:00 29/07/2010

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The man who helped a community constable in Hawke's Bay as he was being bashed and stomped on says there was "no question" he would step in.

Robin Oliver, 48, went to the aid of Clive policeman Alan Daly as he was being beaten by two people in a cul-de-sac in the small town between Napier and Hastings about 3pm on Tuesday.

Mr Oliver lived in the street where the attack happened, and said he knew Mr Daly, as their children attended the same school, so there was "no question" he would go to the rescue.

"But you would help out any policeman in the same way," Mr Oliver said.

"My mother-in-law called me and said 'Alan may need some help', so I ran out there."

Police spokeswoman Kris McGehan said: "Police are very grateful for the help given to Alan."

Mr Oliver, along with others, was disgusted that out-of-towners would arrive in Clive and attack their community constable.

Clive School principal Brian Eales was not surprised Mr Oliver had gone to Mr Daly's aid.

"In a small community such as ours, people are ready to help. We know [police] are by themselves, we know they may need our help."

Two people charged with bashing Mr Daly appeared in Hastings District Court yesterday. Lance Christopher Pirini, 31, and Joy Moana Anne Leaf, 30, were remanded in custody without plea.

The pair, from Auckland, faced a charge of assaulting Mr Daly.

They also faced another four charges each: stealing $71.05 worth of petrol and $30 of groceries and cigarettes, stealing shoes, and taking a $30,000 rental car.

Pirini also faced a charge of driving while disqualified.

Police said Mr Daly was punched, stomped on and had his radio smashed into his face.

Hastings area commander Inspector Dean Clifford said Mr Daly had followed a car into Elizabeth Place. He stopped the car and was attacked by its occupants, suffering a broken eye socket and possible broken nose.

He was discharged from hospital yesterday. Police said a decision on whether he needed surgery would be made in the next few days.

Mr Daly, 45, has been the community constable in Clive, where he lives, for 10 years.

He has been involved with many community groups, and has served on the school board of trustees.

"He has respect, he's a good community cop, he looks after the locals and knows what our kids are up to. He's always on the ball," bottle store owner Craig Welsh said.

Hastings district councillor Rod Heaps, a local resident, said the attack "annoys the hell out of me".

"These people have no respect for anyone, and police in particular."

The two accused are to be sent to Auckland to face unrelated charges next week, before being returned to Hastings for court appearances on the Hawke's Bay charges in September.

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- The Dominion Post

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