Man 'relieved' police-bashing charges dropped

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 05:00 26/02/2013
Jack Maikuku
Peter Drury/Fairfax

CHARGES DROPPED: Jack Maikuku and his lawyer Roger Laybourne at Te Awamutu District Court on Monday, where charges against Maikuku were dropped.

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A Kawhia man who had charges dropped over an alleged attack on the local police officer may eventually seek compensation.

Jack Maikuku, 49, was charged with aggravated assault and assault with intent to injure over the alleged attack on Constable Perry Griffin last month.

A second man also faces charges in relation to the attack. He too appeared in the Te Awamutu District Court yesterday when Mr Maikuku's charges were withdrawn.

The second accused, who has been in custody since the alleged incident and has name suppression, was further remanded to reappear on March 18.

Police at the time labelled the alleged attack as "vicious and cowardly" and "that such was the ferocity of the attack that at one stage the officer's Taser was taken and thrown into the water while his sidearm was dislodged and his radio taken".

But, outside court yesterday, Mr Maikuku said he could not believe that he was charged in the first place.

He was now "relieved" the incident was over for him.

When questioned on his thoughts about the whole incident, he said it was "very curious, I suppose".

He was not keen to see the same policeman back in Kawhia or as a sole-charge cop.

"I do know some good policemen and some really, really good policemen but, unfortunately, I now know a bad policeman . . . not on his own, definitely not, and not around a weapon, of any sort.

"I feel that, while the policeman had his weapons with him, he was totally out of control. There was no fear in him, nothing. He wasn't intimidated at all while he had his weapons."

He felt sorry for his family who had been the subject of "pretty harsh criticism".

"And it was unfounded and was totally untrue."

Mr Maikuku said that, when he was first arrested, he simply thought it was part of the procedure and police were taking everybody at the scene back to the station.

As for support from his community, he said he had the backing of those who were there on the day and witnessed the events.

Mr Maikuku said he had never been in trouble with the law before, making the whole process even more "bewildering".

Maikuku's lawyer, Roger Laybourn, said the case against his client "sounded odd" in the first place as he had only one leg and was accused of assaulting a policeman.

Mr Laybourn said they might eventually look at some sort of compensation.

"There just seems to be absolutely no basis that I can see for him being arrested in the first place," he said.

Western Waikato area commander Inspector Paul Carpenter said the dropping of charges came about after police reviewed a variety of other video evidence, giving them a broader understanding of the incident.

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- Waikato Times

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