30 Sep 2009

Appeal Court upholds sentence over police death

6:41 pm on 30 September 2009

The Court of Appeal has upheld the sentence imposed on a gang member for the manslaughter of a police officer.

Mongrel Mob member Andrew Popo was jailed for eight months and nine years.

A stolen car driven by Popo crashed into Sergeant Derek Wootton, of Porirua, in July last year as he was laying road spikes to stop it.

Popo's lawyer told the Court of Appeal that the sentence starting point of nine to 10 years was too high, and the increase in sentence to reflect Mr Wootton's

status created a disparity with other cases.

However, in a judgment issued on Wednesday the court ruled the sentence imposed was within the available range.

The court said the sentencing judge was right to impose a minimum period of imprisonment, given Popo's driving on the night and his appalling driving record.