Home' Greymouth Star : April 29th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 5
Badly burned man also bitten by dogs
A 52-year-old Kaikorai man
who had suffered burns and
dog bites was taken to Dunedin
Hospital on Monday.
Roslyn station officer Kate
Hill said when firefighters
from Roslyn and D unedin City
attended a kitchen fire in Nairn
Street about 11am, a “badly
burned” man with dog bites was
leaving the house.
His clothing was fire-
damaged and he had burns to
a hand and leg and bites to a
The man had left cooking oil
heating in a pan in the kitchen
unattended and it caught fire.
The man picked up the blazing
pan and spilled the oil on
himself. Tyrone Simons, son-
in-law of the burned man, said
two of his father-in-law ’s dogs
began fighting during the fire
and his father-in-law ’s hand
“The hot oil spilling on my
father-in-law has given them a
The man had owned the
dogs — a huntaway and a
Staffordshire bull terrier cross
— for years, he said.
When firefighters entered the
house, the fire was out as the
man had “isolated the oven”.
The kitchen wall and stove had
Mrs Hill said people should
watch cooking at all times as a
fire could start quickly. If a pan
caught fire, it should not be
moved but the flames could be
smothered with a lid or baking
tray, if it was safe to do so.
“ If it is too big, then leave the
property and call 111.”
If someone was distracted
when cooking, they should turn
off the appliance being used,
Mr Simons said his son was
also in the house during the fire
and was checked by ambulance
staff for smoke inhalation but
was in good health.
— Otago Daily Times
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Emergency ser vices assist a burned man in Dunedin on
A trout poacher has been jailed for a year
while his co-offender is now on the run — in
what has been called the most serious poaching
case to come before the courts in 10 years.
In the Rotorua District Court yesterday,
Thomas Tawha, 41, of Kawerau, was jailed
for 12 months for poaching as many as 60
spawning trout from a stream near Lake
Rotoiti last June and July. The maximum
penalty is two years imprisonment and/or a
Eastern Fish and Game officer Anthony
van Dorp said this was the first case he knew
of where a poacher had been sentenced to a
Tawha’s co-offender, David Pake Leef, 35,
of Te Teko, failed to appear in court and a
warrant was issued for his arrest.
Judge James Weir said it was the most
serious case of its kind in the last decade in
When Tawha and Leef first appeared last
year they refused to acknowledge the court’s
jurisdiction and not guilty pleas were entered
on their behalf. They were found guilty at a
hearing in November.
Yesterday, Judge Weir ordered a man
out of court who claimed he was Leef ’s
“representative” and demanded the judge
stand down because his position was not
recognised under the Maori Land Act.
Leef ’s mother shouted at Judge Weir, saying
her son’s conviction was being appealed in the
High Court. At the judge’s direction she, too,
was escorted out by police.
The lawyer for Eastern Fish and Game,
Mike Bodie, said the men had carried out a
“planned pillaging of the stream”.
He said Tawha’s sentencing would be a legal
benchmark as no one had been sentenced
under a new act that doubled penalties for
“This case is the most serious to come before
the court in at least a decade,” Mr Bodie said.
He said the effect the poaching had on the
progeny of the trout taken was incalculable.
Tawha’s lawyer, Moana Dorset, said her
client had been surprised to learn the impact
his offending had on the spawning ground
and recognised the court must consider
Judge Weir referred to a letter to the court
from a respected Ngati Pikiao kaumatua who
had pointed out Tawha and Leef were not
members of the local iwi.
The kaumatua wrote it was offensive and
disrespectful for the men to claim they had
the customary right to take the trout, he said.
The judge noted Tawha had 38 previous
dishonesty-related convictions and had been
jailed for violent offending.
Eastern Fish and Game region manager
Andy Garrick said the sentence reflected the
seriousness of the offending.
“The sentences the judge imposed today
ser ves as a very stern warning to others that
poaching trout is just not worth it,” he said.
— N ZM E-Rotorua Daily Post
Prison term for
Accomplice on run for ‘planned pillaging of stream’
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