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Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The Court of Appeal has reduced the sentence of a patched Mongrel Mob member who was involved in the shooting of a Hells Angels gang member.

Bronson Pekapo and Karl Nestor Nathan appealed their convictions for the attempted murder of Wanganui Hells Angel president Wayne Tweeddale in February 2008, while Pekapo also appealed his sentence of 10 years' jail.

Pekapo and Nathan had been in a car driven by another man when they were texted by a mob member and told to "get" Tweeddale.

After getting a shotgun from the gang pad, they chased the motorcyclist on State Highway 2 south of Hastings.

Nathan then shot Mr Tweeddale in the back, while Pekapo gave encouragement and assistance.

Both Pekapo and Nathan, who were given a joint trial, appealed their convictions on the basis that evidence given by the driver of the car, Tawhiri Hone, resulted in a miscarriage of justice and should not have been admissible.

The pair also argued the judge failed to adequately instruct that evidence given by Hone could be unreliable,

In appealing against his sentence, Pekapo argued that since he was not the shooter he should have received a lesser jail term.

In a written decision, the Court of Appeal threw out the appeal against conviction, saying the judge was "right to rule" Hone's statements admissible and there had been no miscarriage of justice.

However, the Court of Appeal agreed Pekapo should receive a reduced sentence because he played a lesser role.

"We find it impossible to accept that Pekepo's actions rendered him equally culpable with the driver, whose actions made the shooting possible, and with the shooter himself," the ruling said.

It reduced Pekapo's sentence to 8-1/2 years' prison.


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