Dispute over cannabis theft ends in court

Friday August 11, 2017 Written by Published in Crime

A man whose marijuana was stolen entered a Kavera property armed with a knife in an attempt to confront the alleged drug thief and deter others from helping themselves, the High Court was told last week.

 

Christian Alex De-Wayne Tai appeared in court before Justice of the Peace, Carmen Temata last Wednesday, facing a charge of “threatening acts.”

Tai, represented by Wilkie Rasmussen, was said to have entered a property in Kavera, Arorangi in search of Papa Miri Tuana.

The court heard Tai was angry that Tuana had allegedly entered the property where the marijuana plant was growing, and had stolen multiple leaves. Tai alleged Tuana had trespassed on to the property many times previously. 

“He (Tai) was very upset that Tuana entered his property and taken the marijuana leaves. Especially because Tuana allegedly unremittingly enters Tai’s property and helps himself to whatever he wants without asking for permission first,” said JP Temata.

The court was told that on April 14, Tai went to the Kavera house where Tuana resides. Tai had kicked the front door open and had then been confronted by Tuapikepike Marurai, Tuana’s partner.

Marurai told the court Tai was shouting and demanding to see Tuana. She told Tai that Tuana was not home, but was at the market.

However, Tai had continued to aggressively demand to see Tuana, waving the knife around, slashing at the door frame and threatening to kill Marurai, the court was told.

A frightened Marurai then screamed for help and neighbours called the police.

“The victim feared for her life when the defendant came to her house and started yelling, waving the knife around, and kicking the door,” Temata said.

Under cross examination, Tai admitted he knew Marurai was afraid, but still did not leave the property.

He also claimed that although the incident had begun after he had come to the conclusion that Tuana had stolen his marijuana leaves, the plant was technically outside his property’s perimeter and he did not know how it got there.

This submission caused several people in the court room to chuckle, along with Tai who was clearly amused by his own account of the incident.

Temata said the evidence proved Tai planned to confront Tuana, who had not been at home. The victim, Marurai, had borne the brunt of the defendant’s anger and frustration.

“The defendant could have walked away when the victim told him that Tuana was not at home —avoiding the confrontation altogether.

“Instead he pulled out his knife, brandished it above his head, causing the victim to fear for her life.

“His mindset on the day of the event proves that he was able to carry out his threats, if not on the victim then on the intended target.

“I shudder to think what might have happened if Papa Miri (Tuana) had been at home.

“Anything could have happened, for it might well have ended up in a tragedy,” Temata said.

“He (Tai) believes his threatening acts towards the victim were accidental; I beg to differ.

“I am satisfied that prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of a single charge of threatening acts.”

Tai was convicted and the case adjourned till October 18 for sentencing.

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