31 Oct 2019

Manslaughter sentence: Gang member wins driving disqualification appeal

8:08 pm on 31 October 2019

A Mongrel Mob member who rammed someone from a rival gang off his motorbike and taunted him as he lay dying has won his appeal against his lengthy disqualification from driving.

09082016. Photo Rebekah Parsons-King. Pike River families want mine's CEO to face charges. Court of Appeal Wellington.

The court ruled the use of the car as a deadly weapon merited some period of disqualification but four years was too long. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Andre Taiapa pleaded guilty last year to the manslaughter of Don Henry Turei Junior, who was killed near Te Kaha in November 2016 on his way to a wedding reception.

He was sentenced to six years and four months' prison and disqualified from driving for four years after his release.

But Taiapa's lawyer, Elizabeth Hall, has appealed the disqualification on the grounds it was excessive on top of the rest of his sentence, and could hinder him from leading a law-abiding life after prison.

The Court of Appeal agreed.

In a written judgement, the court said the use of the car as a deadly weapon merits some period of disqualification but four years is too long.

He is now disqualified from driving for one year following his release from prison or on his prison sentence expiry date, if he is not already on parole.