Arsonist attacks wrong owner’s supermarket


Last updated 17:51 03/09/2013

A Tauranga man sought retribution by burning down a Taumarunui Four-Square supermarket. Little did he know, the business had been sold just six weeks earlier.

Darrell John Mackie didn’t normally drink, but on May 3 this year made the trip to the small King Country town.

During his sentencing last week, the Hamilton District Court heard Mackie stopped at his brother’s grave on the way there. His brother had committed suicide a couple of years earlier. He then met up with friends and began drinking.

For reasons Mackie could not explain, he began thinking about an incident involving his daughter when she worked at the supermarket, some four years earlier.

Mackie’s lawyer, Phil Morgan QC, said a deal was struck whereby the owner would keep the incident confidential, however rumours began to surface and made their way back to Mackie.

Mackie – who at the age of 50 had never appeared in court before – left his mates and walked down the main street to the Four Square supermarket.

CCTV footage caught Mackie walking down the service lane and lighting a collection of combustible materials against a wall of the storage area of the building.

He was then seen leaving, before returning to check if it had caught fire, before leaving again.

The fire caused considerable damage to the back of the supermarket and its contents – amounting to $117,895 – and it had to be closed for repairs.

Flames also got uncomfortably close to adjacent buildings which were described as ‘‘tinder dry’’.

Morgan said Mackie had already paid $20,000 to the victims and he’d put the family’s Pukehina holiday bach up for sale to cover the remaining costs.

Mackie did not realise the supermarket had changed hands just six weeks prior and was part-owned by the lawyer who had acted for him and who he knew ‘‘reasonably well’’ when he was first arrested by Taumarunui police.

Judge Connell agreed Mackie’s behaviour was out of character and ‘‘bizarre’’ and agreed with Morgan’s submission that had he known who the new owners were he would never have done it.

However, Judge Connell said he found it ‘‘a little hard to understand’’ his actions on the night.

A psychiatric report found Mackie was suffering depression following his brother’s death and that alcohol had been the ‘‘catalyst’’ to the offending, Judge Connell said.

Apart from his guilty plea, Judge Connell found the key factor in Mackie avoiding prison was his paying of the full reparation and the $1,000 excess paid by the victims of the Patel Family Trust.

‘‘That shows that you are genuinely remorseful for what you did,’’ Judge Connell said.

‘‘I have sympathy for the new tenants at that property as they would have thought they were under attack or some racially-motivated attack and maybe relieved that you did apologise for that and it’s not someone they should fear whatsoever.’’

Mackie, who was supported in court by his wife and other supporters, was convicted on one charge of arson and sentenced to 10 months’ home detention, and ordered to pay the remaining reparation of $98,895.

– © Fairfax NZ News

Pike families hoping for bodies


Last updated 17:40 03/09/2013

For three years the families of the 29 men killed in the Pike River Coal Mine explosion haven’t been able to bury their loved ones.

Now, with the Government announcing a $7.2 million plan to re-enter the mine that has become their tomb, the relatives are holding out hope that proper funerals might someday be held.

“I may never get my son back, but other families might get their men,” said Bernie Monk, a spokesman for most of the miners’ families. His 23-year-old son, Michael, was last seen at the coalface helping someone just before it exploded.

“I’m just hoping like hell there’s some bodies there. Until we go down there, then it will put all these theories to bed.”

West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor said it was not for him to say whether a recovery team could get into the rest of the mine.

“It’s a huge technical challenge, but one step at a time, that’s all the families have asked for, and recovery of the drift can take place, as was originally explained over 18 months ago on a staged process.”

“It’s been an agonising wait,” he added.

Prime Minister John Key said he thought there would be some relief at the decision but that there would “also be a lot of pain for those families because this is still a very delicate and tender issue for them and I understand that”.

In announcing the $7.2m re-entry plan, Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges said the chance of finding bodily remains in the entrance tunnel was “slim”.

However, rescuers would be ready to deal with human remains if found. If bodies were found, they could provide evidence for the police, Bridges said.

There was no guarantee that rescuers would ever be able to enter the rest of the mine.

“We do know there’s been fires, there’s been floods, there’s been explosions so it has been and probably still is a very unstable environment,” he said.

“That makes me personally sceptical about going further than the rockfall.”

But some families believed a few bodies of those who died while fleeing the blast on November 19, 2010, might be retrieved from an unexplored 700-metre section of the tunnel.

A robot sent in soon afterwards reached only about 1.5 kilometres along the tunnel before breaking down. Its camera footage showed no bodies.

“We don’t know if there is a frontrunner full of men [at the end of the tunnel],” Monk said.

Key said that exploring the tunnel could give the families some closure.

“We’ll have an opportunity to see whether there are any men who were on the side of the rock fall nearest the entrance of the mine, there’s been a view held by the families that may be the case, and that will at least give them closure one way or the other on that particular issue.”

Re-entering the tunnel was also crucial to shed light on the blast’s cause, Monk said.

Families hoped it would pave the way towards re-entering the mine’s main workings, where most, if not all, of the men’s bodies remained entombed.

But Key said that was unlikely.

Everything they had seen suggested getting into the mine or moving the rockfall would be a “Herculean step and I just don’t think that’s likely to happen”, he said.

The Government believed if there was a way to get into the mine it would be under commercial entry because they would come at it from a different way, and with a different structure – though that would have to be feasible, credible and safe.

“And I’m just not convinced that that safety element could ever be agreed when it came to the main workings of the mine.”

Solid Energy was not in the financial shape to undertake such a move nor was it likely to be in the near future, he said.

Mines Rescue workers were last in the mine on July 3, 2011, when they finished building a seal 170m along the tunnel and erected double steel doors at the mine’s entrance.


– © Fairfax NZ News

Orange team go mortgage free


Last updated 20:57 03/09/2013

Dream Home

WINNERS: Orange team Sarah and Martyn Giles have a new home.

Orange team’s Marty and Sarah Giles won their Dream Home in the live final of the Mitre 10 sponsored series, beating out the black team’s Jay Blair and Amanda Fail.

The Christchurch couple now own mortgage free the house they renovated on television over the past 10 weeks.

In a twist, both teams had to bid on their houses without knowing whether they had won the competition or not. In previous seasons, the winner has been announced and the losing team’s house went under the hammer.

Both went for $375,000 – with no bidders from the public.

Orange won the overall energy efficiency prize, scoring a year’s free power and an insulation package which they donated to Habitat for Humanity.

Both teams also received a brand new Toyota Rav 4 as part of the overall prize pack. Both teams were familiar with the vehicle after using it in a trailer backing competition for the show.

The public vote made up 70 per cent of the final result with the judges’ scoring throughout the series making up the remaining 30 per cent.

– © Fairfax NZ News

Mongrel Mob targeted in police raids

6:51 PM Tuesday Sep 3, 2013

Photo / File

The Mongrel Mob has been targeted in police raids across New Zealand this morning which has resulted in 22 arrests, and 250 charges laid.

Simultaneous search warrants involving 100 officers and police drug dogs were carried out on 20 addresses in Blenheim, Picton, Nelson, Hokitika, Lower Hutt, Auckland, Havelock North, Palmerston North and Christchurch.

A clandestine drug laboratory was located at an Auckland address and cannabis grow rooms were found in Hokitika and Wakamarina, police said.

The operation, backed by the Organised and Financial Crime Agency NZ, focused on the Tasman police district where police believed the Mongrel Mob were involved in serious drug dealing.

After an eight-month operation targeting the gang’s drug activity in Marlborough, the police pounced today.

Of the 22 arrests nationally, which included seven patched Mongrel Mob members, there were 14 arrests in the Marlborough region alone.

At a Nelson address a large quantity of plastic bags commonly used for the distribution of methamphetamine, with Mongrel Mob insignia printed, on them were recovered.

Quantities of cash, about 1kg of dried cannabis and 24 plants, more than 9g of methamphetamine, a firearm, stolen computers and drug utensils have also been recovered.

Young children were present at some addresses and police have made three referrals to CYF.

A total of 250 charges have been laid. They include possession of class A and C drugs for supply; conspiring to supply or deal methamphetamine; conspiring to supply or deal class C and B drugs; offering to supply methamphetamine; offering to supply class B and C drugs; possession of class B and C drugs, theft, and burglary.

Police say further charges and arrests are likely.

Marlborough area commander Inspector Simon Feltham said a team of police in Blenheim had put in “an enormous amount of work” gathering evidence about the gang’s drug dealing activities and that had led to further offenders being identified outside the Marlborough area.

“Since the Mongrel Mob turned up in Marlborough, police have been vigilant in monitoring their activities,” he said.

“Neither police nor the Marlborough community are prepared to tolerate their drug dealing.

“This operation has resulted in the arrest of all of the senior members of this criminal group in Marlborough and it sends a very clear message to their associates that they are not, and never will be, welcome here.”


The New Zealand Herald

Canal Brasil lançará homenagens a filmes brasileiros


O Canal Brasil lança hoje, terça-feira, o “Clássicos em Pixel”, uma série de 10 animações bem-humoradas em homenagem a clássicos do cinema nacional como “Macunaíma”, “Central do Brasil”, “Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos” e “Orfeu Negro”, entre outros.

Ficamos assim. Mas amanhã tem mais. Tchau!


Flávio Ricco com colaboração de José Carlos Nery

Simone Soares estará na novela Em Família



Depois de “O Astro” e uma participação especial em “Flor do Caribe”, Simone Soares acertou novo trabalho na Globo…
… Ela já tem presença confirmada na novela “Em Família”, do Manoel Carlos, substituta de “Amor à Vida” na faixa das 21 horas.


Flávio Ricco com colaboração de José Carlos Nery

Sérgio Reis vai inaugurar casa noturna depois de amanhã


Na quinta-feira agora, dia 5, Sérgio Reis vai inaugurar a sua nova casa noturna, o Rancho do Serjão ABC, em São Bernardo do Campo.


Flávio Ricco com colaboração de José Carlos Nery

Criança Esperança sugou audiência da Record e do SBT

 Renato Aragão se emociona na 28ª edição do Criança Esperança. (Foto: Reprodução/TV Globo)

Renato Aragão se emociona na 28ª edição do Criança Esperança. (Foto: Reprodução/TV Globo)


Durante a exibição do show do “Criança Esperança”, na noite do último sábado, a Record observou uma queda 11%…
… E o SBT, 44%.


Flávio Ricco com colaboração de José Carlos Nery