Judge admonishes gang members at sentencing

THUMPERRRR's picture

Gangs are totally unacceptable in society and those who choose to be a part of it cannot drag the rest with them.

These comments were made by Judge John McDonald in the Whangarei District Court while sending two men with gang links to jail for stealing two cars from a farm.

Carlos Hemara, 24, and Armand Pene, 30, earlier pleaded guilty to one charge of robbery in relation to forcibly taking two cars from a Mangakahia Rd farm on June 7, 2014.

The duo are members of the Rebels motorcycle gang and both were jailed for three years and four months for their crime.

On the morning of June 7, Judge McDonald said, both men and two associates arrived at a farm on Mangakahia Rd where a Subaru that belonged to the property owners was parked.

Another man, not related to the gang members and associates, arrived in his Honda Accord. After a brief chat with him, Hemara grabbed his keys.


Hemara and Pene then walked into the house and went into the owners' bedroom to search for keys to the Subaru.

One of the homeowners confronted them in her bedroom where Pene demanded the keys from her 10 times, increasing in aggression each time. When he finally got them, Pene and Hemara walked out.

Pene drove off in the Subaru with an associate in the front passenger's seat.

Hemara threatened the owner of the other vehicle to get in the passenger's seat, which he did, because he feared for his safety.

The Honda Accord was then driven off by Hemara. The owner was turfed out on the way to Whangarei.

Five days later, police executed a warrant at a house in Tikipunga where Hemara and Pene, together with the keys to the Subaru, were located.

Hemara told officers he pushed the Honda Accord off a bank near Paihia. The car has not been recovered.

Judge McDonald said it was "standover" tactics by two men who thought they were above the law and could do whatever they wanted.

"You can drive around in your motorcycle but should not attack innocent members of society. You chose to go down this path but you can't drag the rest of us with you," he said.

At that point, Hemara got up in an agitated state but was directed to sit down by security officers.

When the judge highlighted Hemara's previous convictions, he remarked: "I don't give a f***."

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Imran Ali

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