Abusing judge backfires for loudmouthed robber

Last updated 05:00 20/10/2012

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Not knowing when to keep his mouth shut has cost a robber another three months in jail on top of the nine years he already faces.

Tukino Te Takinga Te Rangi, known as Tuki, was found guilty by a jury in Hamilton District Court on a charge of aggravated robbery of the Waikato Snooker and 8 Ball Club and has had his sentence lengthened after swearing at the judge.

Judge Merelina Burnett sentenced Te Rangi to nine years' prison, with a minimum non-parole period of five years.

But as Te Rangi - who appeared via video link from Auckland's Mt Eden Prison - was about to leave the cell he said to Judge Burnett "f... you bitch".

Judge Burnett subsequently initiated contempt of court proceedings, which carry a maximum sentence of three months' jail.

Appearing again via video link, this time from Paremoremo Prison, Te Rangi's counsel Russell Boot said his client admitted the incident but said it was said out of frustration at the sentence, rather than a personal insult.

Judge Burnett then asked Te Rangi if he had anything to say to her, resulting in him offering a meek apology.

She began her sentencing but doubted there was any genuineness in his apology.

"In my view it would be standard language that you would resort to in any situation that you don't like . . . I take your words to be deliberately offensive, they are words at the extreme end of contempt."

However, as she continued, Te Rangi piped up and told her to "hurry up".

Judge Burnett stopped and asked him what he said, when he said "hurry up" again.

"That simply accords with my view that his apology is quite disingenuous."

Judge Burnett said the maximum sentence for a contempt charge was three months, at which she began her sentence, before discounting a week for his apology.

However, given his added remark to "hurry up" she declined to make the sentence concurrent on his nine years, instead adding the two months and three weeks on top.

"That is reinforced by Te Rangi's continued attitude and view of the justice system."

Te Rangi, his partner Laurissa Huirua Tukaki, 22, and a male co-accused, planned the aggravated robbery of the pool hall well in advance.

A stolen car was used to drive them to the scene, in Rostrevor St, on March 6 last year, while they parked a getaway vehicle nearby.

The trio pulled up at the club, and Tukaki went inside, but stopped to leave the doors open for Tukaki and the male accomplice to enter the club.

Te Rangi and his co-accused, who was yet to be dealt with by the court, then stormed the club. Tukaki was armed with a sawnoff shotgun and was wearing a balaclava.

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About $16,000 was taken.

The trio then travelled to several Hamilton properties, disposing of evidence and burning clothes. The money was divided chiefly between the two men, with Tukaki receiving about $3000.

The trio then held a "party", buying large amounts of methamphetamine in the process. Tukaki also onsold the stolen car. She had already been sentenced to two years' and 10 months in prison for her part in the robbery.

- Waikato Times

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