11 Aug 2018

Taranaki Black Power president's daughter fined for suppression breach

1:41 pm on 11 August 2018

The daughter of a Taranaki Black Power president recently jailed for rape has been convicted and fined $1000 after naming her father's victim on Facebook.

Gabrial Tiana-Lee Pepe Weston, who had sought a discharge without conviction, appeared in the New Plymouth District Court today for sentencing.

The 25-year-old had earlier pleaded guilty to breaching a court suppression order.

Ms Weston revealed the identity of her father's victim in June soon after Dennis Craig Weston had been found guilty of rape and indecent assault.

Earlier this month Mr Weston, the president of the Stratford chapter of Black Power, was jailed for nine and a half years for the rape and indecent assault of the partner of one of his gang prospects.

She posted: "Here you go whanau the one that wished not to be named" above a screenshot of the victim's Facebook profile.

Ms Weston made further posts threatening the victim who had automatic name suppression.

One featuring a picture of the victim and her children she captioned: "This ugly huck muck".

The posts lead to other people posting threats such as the victim "better dig her hole now" and "Where is she kuz let's get her".

Crown prosectuor Justin Marinovich told the court that the gravity of the offending spoke for itself.

"Given the nature of these orders and certainly the protections that avail complainants and victims, as this victim is in terms of sexual offending, and the protections surrounding that," Mr Marinovich said.

"So in terms of gravity and the effect that such breaches can have on the administration of justice and the victims themselves the Crown sees this at a serious level."

Ms Weston's defence lawyer Susan Hurley argued that a conviction could hinder Ms Weston, who is two years into an early childhood teaching qualification, from becoming a registered teacher.

Ms Hurley argued that outweighed the gravity of the offending.

The Crown, however, argued that whether Ms Weston had a conviction or not would make no difference to the police vetting revealing the nature of this offending.

Mr Marinovich said that the only offending likely to affect her chances of gaining registration were those to do with family violence, offending against children and objectionable material.

In dismissing Ms Weston's application for a discharge Judge Tim Black said he accepted that her chances of gaining registration as an early childhood teacher could be affected by a conviction, but not that it would effectively bar her from the profession.

After reading serveral of Ms Weston's posts to the court, Judge Black said he had to be mindful that the purpose of the legislation was to prevent the re-victimisation of victims.

"This offending has had a profound affect on the victim. The victim was raped by your father. She has had to relocate to Australia to avoid threats levelled at her by persons associated with him. She is clearly a vulnerable person."

Although Judge Black gave Ms Weston credit for her early plea and previous good character, he said the offending was effectively a rule of law, administration of justice type of offence, and it had to be effectively denounced.