22 Feb 2009

Gang life leads to destruction, says Wanganui mayor

5:56 am on 22 February 2009

The mayor of Wanganui says the murder of Jhia Te Tua is a bloody lesson for gang members that their lifestyles are a one-way street to failure

The child's death in a drive-by shooting in May 2007 in Wanganui was a result of gang rivalry between Black Power and the Mongrel Mob.

In the High Court in Wellington on Friday a further six people were sentenced in relation to the killing. A total of 12 people have been convicted in relation to the case.

Wanganui mayor Michael Laws says gang life is one of petty terrorism, violence and hatred which leads to destruction.

He says the children of gang members are at special risk, because they are born into a toxic environment, offering few opportunities.

Police say they will continue to clamp down on gang violence in the city.

Wanganui Area Commander Duncan McLeod says the sentences imposed on Friday send a message to gangs that their behaviour will not be tolerated.

On Friday, Hayden Wallace, who fired the fatal shot, was jailed for life with a minimum non-parole period of 15 years, as was Karl Check, who ordered the shooting.

Ranji Forbes received a life sentence with a minimum non-parole period of 12 and a half years while two others received 10 year sentences for manslaughter.