Southland Times story here
Two men who attacked another man on an Invercargill street and stole his belongings have each been sentenced to more than three years in jail. Whetu Taylor, 24, had earlier been found guilty of aggravated robbery while Rahui Paul Taia, 26, had admitted charges of aggravated robbery and injuring with intent to injure.
They had been walking home from a party in November when they saw a man sheltering at a Tay St bus stop. After asking him what he was doing in their neighbourhood they attacked and robbed him. They both punched the man and Taia hit him in the face with a beer bottle, the court heard. The pair then made off with the victim's bicycle and a backpack containing his personal belongings.
Judge Colin Doherty yesterday sentenced Taylor to three years and six months in prison while Taia was sentenced to three years and four months in prison. Taylor, addressing the judge, apologised to the victim and his own family during his sentencing. "I would like to personally apologise to the victim on behalf of myself and the bro for the stress and harm this has caused him. I would also like to apologise to my family and support people because it also affects them as well," Taylor said.
Southland Times story June 2009
A jury yesterday took less than four hours to find a 24 year old Invercargill man guilty of aggravated robbery. Whetu Taylor was found guilty of the November 23rd offence after he and Rahui Paul Taia, 26, attacked and robbed a man as he sheltered at a Tay St bus stop for the night.
Taia had already plead guilty and claimed responsibility for the robbery at an earlier date. The jury trial began in the Invercargill district court on Tuesday before a jury and Judge Colin Doherty. The court was told the victim was punched in the face and head and hit in the face with a stubbie beer bottle, leaving him with broken teeth, facial cuts and severe swelling.
The pair then made off with the victim's bicycle and backpack containing his personal belongings and frozen meat, the court was told. Called as a defence witness, Taia said Taylor had nothing to do with the incident and pleaded with him to stop and go home. However the Crown said the victim was punched from all directions and disputed Taia's claim he could punch with both hands while keeping the bottle in his grasp. Judge Doherty remanded Taylor in custody for sentence on June 25th.
Date of Birth
1985 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Last known Invercargill
Three Strikes Status
Sentenced to 3 years 6 months in July 2009
Appealed unsuccessfully in December 2009
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Whetu Taylor - Rahui Paul Taia Appeal Notes
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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