Gisborne man loses car
2 September 2008
Failing to stop for a Fishery Officer has cost a Gisborne man his car and a $1,000 fine.
Tai Kehu Crawford, 63, from Gisborne appeared in the Gisborne District Court last Wednesday before Judge Gittos and was convicted of failing to comply with the lawful requirement of a Fishery Officer to stop his vehicle. Crawford failed to appear in Court and the charge was formally proved by the Ministry of Fisheries in his absence.
In April this year a uniformed Fishery Officer set up a roadside checkpoint at Okitu to inspect Crawford’s vehicle following a tip-off.
When the Fishery Officer saw Crawford’s vehicle approaching he stood behind a cone in the centre of the road holding up his warrant and waving the vehicle to the side of the road. Crawford swerved around the officer and sped away.
While following Crawford into Gisborne, and attempting to get him to stop, Crawford pretended to stop twice but each time sped away when the Fishery Officer got out of his car, he also smiled and gave the Fishery Officer the ‘fingers’.
When he reached Gisborne, Crawford sped up a driveway and took off with a sack from the back seat of his car that appeared to the Fishery Officer to contain orange objects similar to crayfish. The sack was then thrown over a fence and from there it went missing.
Senior Fisheries Prosecutor, Morgan Dunn, asked the Court for a fine that took into account that the motive behind such behavior was usually to avoid fines for possessing illegally taken fish.
Judge Gottos said Crawford was obviously well aware of the Fishery Officer and was seen to dispose of a sack that appeared to be a sack of crayfish. He fined Crawford $1,000 plus court costs and ordered Crawford’s Honda Integra forfeit to the Crown.
East Coast District Compliance Manager, Tom Teneti, said the Court result was an example of how people who choose not to cooperate with Fishery Officer’s carrying out their official duties can end up in serious trouble.
“Fisheries rules are there to protect the resource for the population and those who consider ignoring them for their own benefit should be aware that their chances of being caught are high and consequences serious,” he says.