12 May 2015

Man sentenced over racist rant

4:35 pm on 12 May 2015

A man who went on a racist rant on a Hutt Valley bus has a history of nuisance-type offending, a court has heard.

Moses Mohi Joe Tupaea

Moses Mohi Joe Tupaea Photo: RNZ

Moses Mohi Joe Tupaea, 66, was sentenced in the Hutt Valley District Court this afternoon, after previously pleading guilty to charges of offensive behaviour and speaking threateningly.

He was sentenced to 120 hours of community work and was ordered to pay a $500 fine and $130 in court costs.

He was also told to complete an anger management course.

Tupaea was filmed making racist remarks to two passengers on a bus on March 25, before threatening another, Pene Walker, who defended the pair.

In court, Judge Mark Callaghan, said Tupaea had ignored repeated warnings by two different bus drivers to stop verbally abusing the passengers.

Judge Callaghan said Tupaea had a long list of previous convictions for nuisance-type offences, which seemed to be alcohol related.

He said he also had offences relating to the disobedience of court orders and assault.

Judge Callaghan condemned his actions.

"This community is entitled to travel on public transport without being assaulted and abused," Judge Callaghan said.

"The complainant...did what any right-minded citizen might do and for her courage she got threatened by you, you threatened to cause her grievous bodily harm."

"I need to send you a message that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated in the community."

Tupaea's lawyer said he deeply regretted his actions.

In court today, Tupaea appeared wearing a fluro orange shirt with the words "Jesus coming, be ready" printed on the back.

He declined to comment on his sentence.

He previously told Radio New Zealand he was sorry for his actions and vowed to never do it again.