Gisborne man sentenced for threatening Fishery Officer
21 June 2011
A Gisborne man has been sentenced on a charge of behaving in a threatening manner towards a Fishery Officer.
Ronald Edward Te Moananui, a 45-year-old forklift driver, was fined $1750 plus $130 court costs for obstruction under the Fisheries Act 1996.
Someone known to the defendant had earlier had some dealings with a Fishery Officer.
On 2 December 2010, the same Fishery Officer was getting into his patrol vehicle parked in Grey Street, Gisborne.
The defendant approached the officer and continued to verbally abuse and yell at the officer over a period of several minutes.
Members of the public were watching. Te Moananui eventually walked back to a vehicle and got into the passenger’s seat. He looked at the officer and put his fingers across his throat in a “cut-throat” gesture. The vehicle then drove off.
A short time later the defendant was arrested. In the District Court at Gisborne, Te Moananui said he was sorry and that his family had gone through some recent traumatic events.
Judge Tompkins said this was a case of sustained and abusive threats made in public and that the defendant was fortunate not to be facing more serious charges.
Ministry of Fisheries Field Operations Manager Tom Teneti said it was totally unacceptable for Fishery Officers to be abused and threatened.
“Anyone acting like this can expect to be brought before the courts,” Mr Teneti said. “The job of the Fishery Officer is difficult enough without being confronted in this way. The Ministry will do everything necessary to support our staff in the field and make sure they are safe in carrying out their duties.”