Shot man's brother denied bail for tangi

Last updated 05:00 20/07/2011
tdn Antony Ratahi strap
FAMILY PHOTO: Antony Ratahi, in a photo that appeared on a Facebook tribute page which was created on the day of his death.

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The brother of the man shot dead by police at a Taranaki hotel has made a plea to be allowed out on bail to attend his tangi.

Antony Ratahi, 46, was shot after taking his former girlfriend hostage at the Headlands Hotel, Opunake, at the weekend. He was shot after an altercation with police.

He had just been freed from jail.

Errol Ratahi is in prison awaiting sentence in September on charges of burglary and unlawfully being in a building.

Yesterday lawyer Liz Hall asked Judge Susan Thomas, in Lower Hutt District Court, to grant Ratahi limited bail to go to the tangi in Opunake and return to Rimutaka Prison on Friday.

There were exceptional circumstances and Ratahi would be with his older sister during the funeral, she said.

His brother's body had been in Wellington but was expected to travel back to New Plymouth yesterday and Ratahi wanted to accompany it.

Antony was his only brother, she told the judge.

Ms Hall said if he was under the jurisdiction of the Corrections Department rather than on remand he might have been able to get prison authorities to agree to allow him compassionate release.

Judge Thomas was not convinced, however. She declined him bail, saying he had 178 previous convictions, 75 prison sentences and had committed 95 offences while on bail.

"The reality is you are the author of your own misfortune. One of the reasons you are in custody is that you have failed before to attend court."

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- The Dominion Post

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