Three alleged Head Hunters gang members or associates were granted interim name suppression when they appeared on drugs or conspiracy charges in the Christchurch District Court after police raids that ended a four-month investigation today.
Judge Paul Kellar accepted that the suppression could be granted for their first court appearances to preserve their rights to a fair trial.
Phil Shamy, defence counsel for the first man brought into court, asked for suppression because he said there may be issues with identification in the police case.
Judge Kellar granted the order but said it would have to be fully argued at the men’s next appearances, if the defence wanted it to continue.
The first man, a 45-year-old from Mairehau, entered no plea to a charge of being a member of an organised criminal group from August to December, and four charges of conspiring to supply the class A drug methamphetamine between August 24 and November 11.
He was remanded in custody – there was no application for bail – for an appearance by video-link from the prison on December 19.
A 44-year-old from Bryndwr was remanded on bail to December 28, without plea, when police did not oppose bail. He faced charges of being a member of a criminal group, and failing to assist a detective carrying out a search.
Police opposed bail for a third man, a 50-year-old mechanic, who entered no plea to the charge of being a member of the organised criminal group. Judge Kellar heard a bail application and granted bail for the man to appear on December 28, as well as interim suppression.
Police did not oppose bail for Benjamin Gabriel Dean Kney, 42, of New Brighton, and he was granted a registrar’s remand without a court appearance. He was remanded to January 5, on the charge of participating in an organised criminal group. He did not seek name suppression.
The organised criminal group charges link five men who are alleged to have been involved in the supply of methamphetamine. Four of the five men named appeared before the court today.
Another man who was apparently picked up in the same raids because his address was given as one of the addresses involved, was remanded on bail to December 13, on two drugs charges. Justin Francis Wydur, 46 a plasterer, of Wigram, entered no pleas to charges of possession of cannabis and possession of a pipe for smoking methamphetamine. He does not face the criminal group charge.