Family loyalty no excuse for man's 'standover'

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 05:00 07/02/2014

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A misplaced sense of family loyalty has landed a Manaia man in court.

In the Hawera District Court on Wednesday, Cedric Billy Jack Nepia, 40, appeared before Judge Allan Roberts to be sentenced on a charge of demanding with intent to steal.

Nepia had pleaded guilty to the charge on November 26. It related to an incident at a Skeet Rd house in Auroa on November 4.

The police summary said Nepia went to the house to confront the victim about an issue related to one of Nepia's extended family members.

After confirming the victim's identity, Nepia became aggressive and started to walk towards him before the victim ran into his house.

Nepia grabbed the man and forced him to sit in a chair as he questioned him, while wearing a tool belt which had a hammer and socket wrench visible to the victim.

Out of fear the victim offered his television and PlayStation to Nepia in an attempt to get the defendant to leave the property.

As he left Nepia threatened to take the victim's car if he went to the police.

Counsel Rajan Rai said his client was remorseful and had offered to meet with the victim at a restorative justice meeting. This was declined by the victim, but Nepia had managed to talk with the victim's mother.

"They've gone a long way to making peace," Mr Rai said.

Judge Roberts said he accepted Nepia's show of remorse but the underlying family dynamics were no excuse for the offending.

"At the heart of this is all the hallmarks of a cheap standover."

Nepia was sentenced to three months' community detention and will be under daily curfew between 7pm and 6am. He must also do 150 hours of community work.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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