Paua poacher nabbed after crashing his car in a failed getaway attempt
A paua poacher who crashed his car in a failed getaway attempt tried to start it with jumper leads as a fishery officer looked on
Flaxmere man Jeremy Hepi, 38, was seen by a fishery officer at the south end of Blackhead Beach in Hawke's Bay on September 1.
When Hepi saw the fishery officer approaching, he sped up a small bank in an attempt to get away.
The fishery officer subsequently found Hepi's vehicle failed to take a corner and had run off the road.
As the officer approached, he found Hepi trying to restart the vehicle and advised him he was a fishery officer and to stop what he was doing.
Hepi continued to try to restart the vehicle and went to the front where he connected jumper leads and a battery to the car battery terminals.
He was then advised that he was under arrest for obstructing a fishery officer.
Hepi continued to try to get the vehicle back onto the road even after a second fishery officer arrived to block his escape. The vehicle eventually stalled.
He was sentenced to 300 hours community work on each count to be served concurrently.
The vehicle Hepi used in the offence as well as assorted diving gear was forfeited to the Crown.
Ministry for Primary Industries Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa District Compliance Manager, Ray McKay, is concerned with the increasing frequency of larger seizures of paua in Hawke's Bay which he believes was likely to be servicing a substantial black market trade.