Punching cop backfires

Peneha Ruwhiu received a second dose of justice for assaulting a police officer when he appeared in court yesterday.

In February he was dropped by the officer after he had punched him in the chin and yesterday he was sentenced to 240 hours' community work over the incident and unpaid fines.

About 12.50am on February 9 the 21-year-old was drunk on Liardet St New Plymouth, with two associates. One had an open bottle of beer.

Ruwhiu abused two plain clothes police officers, calling them niggers and pigs, after they approached his female associate and told her she was breaching the liquor ban.

He was told to leave by police but refused and walked towards them in a threatening and aggressive manner.

Ruwhiu again abused police when he was told he was under arrest and starting throwing punches, one striking a constable on the chin.

Policesaid the officer was forced to strike Ruwhiu and dropped him with a single punch.

Ruwhiu pleaded guilty to charges of resisting arrest and assaulting police before Judge Allan Roberts in the New Plymouth District Court.

His lawyer, Patrick Mooney, said Ruwhiu later apologised to the officer.

Ruwhiu also had $1568 in unpaid fines which he asked to be remitted and replaced with community work.

The judge noted Ruwhiu had received some "summary justice" when he was decked by the constable.

Ruwhiu was sentenced to 100 hours' community work for assaulting police and an additional 100 hours to have his fines remitted.

He also received 40 hours' community work for resisting arrest which is to be served concurrently.

Taranaki Daily News