Home' Greymouth Star : June 22nd 2017 Contents Peter Hooper
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THURSDAY, JUNE 22, 2017
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900 year-old mosque
Greymouth police say inquiries are
continuing into two recent episodes
of mass vehicle vandalism, which
saw about 50 car tyres punctured
in May, between Herbert Street
and Cobden, and 10 windscreens
smashed last Thursday in the Heaphy
and Shakespeare streets area. Senior
sergeant Paul Watson said police are
reliant on help from the public to
solve both crimes. They had some
suspects in view but so far no arrests.
“ We do wait for that information
to filter through. We’ve got pieces
— it’s just a matter of putting it all
together,” he said.
Veteran Radio New Zealand
broadcaster Lloyd Scott — who
began his career as a radio
technician in Greymouth in 1963
— has handed over his microphone
and will be leaving the State-owned
radio station in August after more
than 53 years. Scott, 75, has hosted
the overnight show for the past 13
Police have appealed for
information from the public
after the mothballed sawmill at
Inangahua Junction was burgled
in the past week. The Inangahua
Sawmilling Company premises were
broken into some time between
last Wednesday and yesterday.
Senior sergeant Paul Watson, of
Greymouth, said a locked building
was found broken open and a large
compressor stolen. The break in
would have generated some visible
activity at the site, and may have
required the use of a forklift at the
site to lift the compressor. Any
sightings of suspicious activity at the
site between June 14 and yesterday,
including vehicles, can be passed on
to Reefton police or anonymously
by calling Crimestoppers 0800 555
Cloudy, fine breaks developing
A learner driver in Western
Australia’s Kimberley region has
been charged because her driving
super visor was blind. A Kununurra
police spokesman said the older
man was believed to be the woman’s
grandfather or relative. The pair
were pulled over on Sunday
morning, and the man was found to
be blind, the police spokesman said.
Texts read out yesterday in the High
Court trial of a former Grey Valley man
accused of inflicting grievous bodily harm
and supplying a firearm did not imply
sinister intent, the jury was told.
Robin William Osborne, 22, is accused of
being party to the entrapment and planned
attack on another Grey Valley man on
July 1 last year. The victim later died.
Osborne has pleaded guilty to one
charge of grievous bodily harm relating
to an incident in the Stillwater Hotel car
park, but not guilty to a further charge of
grievous bodily harm with intent to injure
at a location in the Arnold Valley that
night, and a charge of supplying a firearm
to an unlicensed firearms holder.
Details of the victim’s name, including
that of the coronial inquiry, remain
In setting out its case against Osborne,
the Crown described what happened as
pre-planned and premeditated.
The victim had been lured to the hotel
with a number of people who were all in
on an alleged drugs and gun theft by the
While at the pub the victim was set upon
before he was taken to a remote Arnold
Valley location and brutally beaten.
Crown prosecutor Mark Zarifeh detailed
a number of texts including from Osborne
to his mother Anna, and between others
involved in the case demonstrating
collusion between Osborne’s co-accused
Andrew Crestani, Ricky Carter and
Linda Cunningham — planning what was
to happen on July 1.
Crestani and Carter have previously
admitted and been convicted of grievous
bodily harm relating to the assault.
The texts included angry statements
related to the victim and what he
had allegedly done, and the planned
consequences, including the comments,
“I want blood on my knuckles tonight,”
having the victim’s “blood”, and “Rick’s
out for blood, don’t you worry”.
A subsequent text from Carter to another
man said the victim had not confessed as a
result of the first beating and subsequently
he was being dealt to.
There was also a text from Andrew
Crestani to an unknown recipient saying,
“I’ve got the c... tonight and going for a
drive ... a bit more of a knuckle sandwich
Mr Zarifeh said the Crown case would
hinge on Mr Osborne being part of the
plan and being party to what subsequently
happened when the victim was taken from
the hotel to the Arnold Valley.
Defence lawyer Michael Vesty said the
“real focus” of the trial would be on what
happened at Arnold Valley, and the Crown
contending that Mr Osborne was present.
The jury would have to decide if that
was the case in light of the actions and
behaviour of Carter and Crestani.
“He (Osborne) was not part of what
happened, beyond what happened at the
Stillwater pub,” Mr Vesty said.
“The defence case is very much that there
is no real evidence of him being anywhere
near the Arnold Valley.”
Prosecution witness Ronald McGee
said the victim had tried to sell a stolen
rifle and the prospective buyer, Andrew
Crestani, knew whose it was.
Mr McGee said he had been talking to
Carter on July 1 and knew he was going to
the Stillwater Hotel to confront the victim
about stealing 5lb of cannabis and a rifle.
“I had gone around to the Stillwater
Hotel to talk to the victim, to make sure
things did not get out of hand. I was
outside on the deck and was giving him
the heads up (saying), ‘I think you have
been sprung, tell them the truth and give
The victim denied it and said he had
nothing to worry about.
“I went back inside and Carter and two
or three others asked the victim outside. I
went back outside about 10 minutes later
and found the victim had got a smack or
two in the head,” Mr McGee said.
“He was in a bit of a state, he was shaking
and very upset, he was hyper-ventilating
and had a bruise on the left side of his
head and a bruise near his right eye.
“The last time I saw the victim he was on
his own and I said, ‘you have done all you
can, they might be able to forgive you”’.
Cross-examined by Mr Vesty, Mr
McGee was asked why he had left the
hotel and gone to Carter’s partner’s house
at Taylor ville.
Mr McGee said he wanted to let
her know it was all over and what had
happened, that the victim had confessed.
Mr Vesty said while Mr McGee was
at the house, Carter’s partner received a
text message from Carter which said the
victim had not confessed.
Mr McGee said he did not recall that.
Mr Vesty asked what he meant when he
texted Carter at 22.42pm that read “well
Mr McGee said by that he meant it was
all resolved and they had found out who
had the cannabis. He had a hunch, and
Carter had conveyed to him he knew who
had the drugs.
Carter said he was trying to extract it
from the victim, and wanted to know
where it was.
Hair and there at Blaketown
PICTURE: Lisa Rangi
Blaketown School pupils were all smiles as they showed off their crazy wigs, hair and hats for a Child Cancer fundraiser yesterday. Schools and
businesses got out their wigs in support of National Wig Day. Blaketown School principal Bevan Clark said they had a good response from
children and staff, with everyone getting on board. “It ’s really great to see them fundraising and showing support like this.” The school of 73
pupils raised $110. “It ’s a great effort from such a small school,” Mr Clark said.
School ‘stranger danger’ false alarm
Police say reports of two
Greymouth girls being offered
a ride by a stranger after school
yesterday turned out to be an
Grey Main School posted a
warning on their social media page
yesterday that two girls had been
offered a lift home by a man in red
car on Milton Road.
“The police are investigating this
incident. Our children have just
completed a ‘Keeping Ourselves
Safe’ unit, so please remind them of
what they learned. Together we can
keep your children safe,” the school
The parent of one of the girls
also issued a warning on Facebook,
saying a man in a red car “tried to
kidnap” her daughter from Milton
Road, telling her that “if she didn’t
get in, he’d make her,” before driving
up to Arnott Heights.
The incident generated extensive
comment on Facebook, some of it
Principal Mandy O’Sullivan said
this morning the girls had responded
appropriately by reporting what
happened to them yesterday.
It was in light of raised awareness
in the school through work being
done this term as part of the health
curriculum around personal safety.
“O ur school focus has been
on keeping our school safe,”
Mrs O’Sullivan said.
The two girls stopped by the
vehicle in Milton Road had been
walking home together, she said.
Senior sergeant Paul Watson,
of Greymouth police, said that
after inquiries last night they
were satisfied there was “nothing
untoward” in the approach to the
“ We have investigated that and
there is nothing suspicious around
that at all,” Mr Watson said.
MP wary of economic plan
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien
O’Connor says he is suspicious
that Development West Coast
will be asked to fund economic
development projects in order to
save government cash.
The Government ’s economic
action plan for the West Coast is
due for release in mid-July.
Government papers released to
the Greymouth Star this week
under the Official Information Act,
noted that at least three government
ministers have expressed concerns
over Development West Coast
and Tourism West Coast, and that
changes are afoot.
“The Minister of Economic
Development (Simon Bridges)
is aware of the need to look hard
at these agencies and their roles
and functions and governance
arrangements,” one paper said.
Mr O’Connor said he believed
the Government wanted to get its
hands on DWC money to fund
the conservation projects, “which
should be funded by DOC”.
DOC has been promoting
tourism spending at Punakaiki and
the Oparara Basin at Karamea, as
part of the wider plans intended to
boost the economy.
Mr O’Connor said he accepted
there was a need for DWC to
“sharpen up”, but a change in focus
needed to come from local people,
not from Wellington.
Taking the initial growth study to
the action plan had been “an excuse
for procrastination”, he said.
“I’m deeply suspicious of their
growth study process. I believe the
proposals will be highly political
and risk putting the West Coast
in the middle of a fight” between
development and conservation.
The Ministry of Business,
Innovation and Employment
information contained in the OIA.
It said the West Coast Governance
Group which was driving the
economic plan, Development West
Coast and the West Coast mayors
were all involved in the review of
economic development governance
and delivery arrangements.
Mr Bridges was aware of the
review but he was not leading it,
National Party list MP Maureen
Pugh said she was confident “we
will deliver an action plan that
will unlock and realise the region’s
economic potential, attract new
investment and diversify the
economy of the region”.
The Department of Conservation
had been working on plans for
Punakaiki for many months, and
“I look forward to seeing the
outcome of that planning in the
“I understand the West Coast
action plan is currently being
finalised ahead of its release on
July 13. The initiatives in the
growth study that will be pursued
and the outcome of the review of
Development West Coast will be
announced at that time.”
Victim lured to hotel and bashed
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