Time served for assault on policeman

Jackie Maikuku is sentenced in Hamilton District Court to time served today.
Jackie Maikuku is sentenced in Hamilton District Court to time served today.

A Kawhia man will be released from prison on time served after being convicted of assaulting a policeman. 

Jackie Maikuku, 21, has spent more than a year in custody after a scuffle with Kawhia police Constable Perry Griffin on the town’s wharf on January 11, last year.

However, just before a two-week trial was to begin in the Hamilton District Court today, Maikuku, entered a guilty plea to a charge of aggravated assault on Constable Griffin.

Judge David Ruth sentenced Maikuku to nine months in prison, but as he has spent more than a year in custody at Waikeria Prison, he is able to be released this evening on time served.

The court heard that Griffin was off duty on the day and down at the local wharf fishing with his son about 5.30pm when he saw an intoxicated Maikuku nearby acting ‘‘in a disorderly manner’’.

Griffin, aware of an outstanding warrant for Maikuku’s arrest, went home and got changed into his uniform before returning to the wharf.

Griffin told Maikuku he was under arrest for the warrants to which Maikuku stood there and disputed the matter.

In the course of the physical arrest Griffin placed his hand on Maikuku’s chest before Maikuku swung his arm out, knocking it away.

Realising it was one against a possibility of numbers, Griffin knew he couldn’t singlehandly perform the arrest so called for back up.

Jackie Maikuku's parents, Jack and Lisa, were also at the scene and together with a member of the public tried unsuccessfully to calm Maikuku down. 

Outside court after sentencing, Jack Maikuku said he still couldn’t believe he would get to his son in a few hours.

However, he said his son would move back to the town and he assured Griffin there would be no further dramas.

Meanwhile, Constable Griffin said he remained committed to policing the Kawhia region.

"The support shown not only to me but also to my family through what was a quite a difficult ordeal by firstly the Kawhia community, the wider police family and to a large number of people from around the country was quite humbling to experience and has helped our family cement our ties here.

"Having said that, in the spirit of moving forward we would like to close this chapter on our lives and request that our privacy be respected in relation to this matter."

Western Waikato Area Commander, Inspector Paul Carpenter, said he hoped the sentencing meant that both the police and Kawhia community could now move on.

"From a police perspective this vindicates the whole of police support shown to our colleague and the quite considerable support shown not just by the Kawhia community but from people from around the country."