Witness speaks of stirring up rival gang

Last updated 05:00 26/07/2014

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The breaking of a truce between Black Power and the Mongrel Mob in Timaru was at the centre of a case in Timaru District Court yesterday.

Hemi Turangi McCallum, 22, a labourer of Pareora, denied a charge of demanding with menaces.

Due to disclosure issues his trial was ruled a mistrial and aborted.

Police told the court that on December 1 last year McCallum went to the home of the complainant, Jonathan Crawford. He demanded he give him his car and said if he did not two cars of people would turn up and stab him.

Police called Crawford as a witness. He said McCallum had been a friend. Crawford said he had not been prospecting for a gang.

"Hemi came over and said the car had to be repo'd. We had stirred up trouble with a rival gang and they [the Mongrel Mob] wanted the car as a payment.

"He said either I gave the car over or some people were going to come and get it. He said they were going to come and give me a hiding and I feared for the safety of my children who were sitting inside [the house] at the time."

He was asked what had happened to upset the gang.

"We were having a few drinks and thought we would stir up the rival gang and had an altercation with Black Power. We were driving up and down Andrew St barking. It was the president of Black Power's house we kept driving past."

This had upset the Mongrel Mob because there had been a truce between the two gangs, he said.

Due to disclosure issues raised by Judge Joanna Maze, the trial was aborted before McCallum could present his defence.

Police then chose to drop the charge.

McCallum was then sentenced on five other charges; two charges of breaching bail, driving when forbidden, failing to remain stopped for a police officer and failing to stop for red and blue lights.

On July 14, McCallum was driving along Stafford St when he was stopped and asked for his driver's licence.

He drove off before police could get his details.

The patrol car pursued him with its lights on. In Bank St he fled on foot.

He was sentenced to 80 hours' community work, fined $400 and disqualified from driving for three months.

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- The Timaru Herald

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