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Men jailed after gangland turf shootout near school

JIMMY ELLINGHAM
Last updated 12:00 25/05/2013

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Two men involved in a gangland shootout just metres away from an occupied school have been jailed for their part in a Nomads versus Rebels turf war.

The dispute dates back to September last year when a Rebels vest, belonging to the gang's president, was stolen from an Otaki house.

The Rebels thought the culprits were Nomads, Judge Gerard Lynch told the Palmerston North District Court yesterday.

Retaliation came about 9am on October 24, when three car loads of Rebels pulled up to an Otaki house occupied by Nomad associates Jamie Downing and Cole Michael Hill. "This was about 50 metres from a school which was open, and with children in class.

"The rebels gang members were armed. Their weapons included firearms," Judge Lynch said.

Fifteen rounds were fired either into or from the property.

Hill then contacted Palmiro George Macdonald, 33, of Levin, and another man, who is facing trial for his alleged role in the fracas, and the pair drove to Otaki.

Downing stayed there while Hill jumped into the vehicle with a rifle and the posse turned back to Levin.

They were stopped by police, who found the loaded gun, ammunition, a samurai sword, a machete and a knife.

"Downing told police that the dispute was gang turf war and he fought back at the Rebel gang members after they shot at his house first," Judge Lynch said.

Downing "paid his way out" of the Nomads in 2008, but remained associated with the gang.

Last month he was jailed for two years and three months on one charge of discharging a firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and two of unlawfully possessing ammunition.

Hill was jailed for two years and four months on one charge each of discharging a firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, unlawfully possessing a rifle, unlawfully possessing ammunition and unlawfully possessing a knife.

And yesterday, Macdonald was sentenced to six months' community detention, 75 hours' community work and 12 months' supervision on one charge each of being an accessory after the fact and possession of a weapon.

"Those that help clean up after violence, particularly with a gang overlay, need to be specifically deterred," Judge Lynch said.

Macdonald was not present at the shootout and was given credit for time he spent in custody and on electronically-monitored bail.

A pre-sentence report said Macdonald had an "entrenched view and staunch attitude around gang connections". However, he had stopped using drugs and had not touched alcohol for years.

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- The Manawatu Standard

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