Shop shut after ex-Mob boss hits owner

TRACEY CHATTERTON
Last updated 05:00 24/07/2013
Claude Kahika

GUILTY OF ASSAULT: Claude Kahika, former president of the Hastings chapter of the Mongrel Mob.

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A Hastings store has closed after a gang boss attacked the owner for selling his leather jacket to pay an outstanding bill.

A former head of the Hastings Mongrel Mob chapter, Claude Karauria Kahika, 53, took a leather jacket into Jet Leather to be repaired earlier in the year. It sat there for three months waiting to be paid for and picked up, a police summary stated.

After numerous attempts to contact Kahika, owner Mike Wilson sold the jacket to cover the cost of repairs, which is the store's standard policy.

On the afternoon of June 27, Kahika finally went in to collect his jacket. He punched the owner in the face, breaking his nose, when he learned the jacket had been sold.

Mr Wilson stumbled back and fled out the rear of the shop. Kahika chased him, stopping only when another shop owner intervened.

Days later, the windows in the Heretaunga St store were smashed. A police spokeswoman said another man had been arrested for wilful damage. The two incidents were not believed to be related.

Mr Wilson closed the store shortly after the attack and the vandalism. He would not comment when approached by The Dominion Post.

Kahika pleaded guilty to assault with reckless disregard when he appeared in Hastings District Court yesterday.

Lawyer Matthew Phelps submitted that community work was a suitable sentence and that Kahika was willing to pay the victim $500.

However, Judge Richard Watson said the seriousness of the assault warranted a tougher sentence. He ordered a pre-sentence report with appendices.

Kahika was remanded on bail until October.

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- The Dominion Post

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