Scuffle in court as pizza robbery accused appears

February 17, 2017 | By More

A man charged with the violent armed robbery of a pizza outlet on Monday night abused the judge and scuffled with police escort staff at his court appearance.

Christchurch District Court Judge Tony Couch carried on without reacting to being repeatedly called nasty names from the dock by Gordon Nicci Mana Haar Kopara.

Police allege that Kopara, 26, was one of two men who robbed Domino’s Pizzas in Bishopdale, armed with a knife and a firearm.

He is the only arrest made so far. The police’s summary of facts refers to an “unknown person” being Kopara’s alleged co-offender.

Kopara is charged with robbing Domino’s staff of cash and causing grievous bodily harm to a staff member during the robbery.

He is also charged with being unlawfully in possession of a shotgun in Gloucester Street on Sunday.

Duty lawyer Clayton Williams told the court no bail application would be made and asked for a three week remand for Kopara without plea on both charges.

He also asked for the court to remand another charge of unlawful possession of a firearm – for which Kopara is already on bail – to the same date.

Kopara turned to the public gallery and spoke to family members when he was brought into court.

Judge Couch told him: “Mr Kopara, can I have your attention please. This is not a social occasion.”

Kopara replied, “F—up.”

Then his young son ran into the body of the court and came up to the dock where he could see his father.

Judge Couch said: “Would whoever is in charge of that child take him out of the court room now. It is totally inappropriate.”

Kopara commented: “That’s my f–g son,” and called the judge a name.

A woman in the public seating did take the boy out, but exchanges continued involving court escort staff, people in the gallery, and Kopara.

Kopara then kicked the cell door open and marched out.

Judge Couch ordered him brought back in and there was a scuffle at the door and then pushing in the dock.

“You don’t just march out. I’m not finished dealing with you,” said the judge.

He then remanded Kopara in custody for an appearance by video-link from the prison on March 9,  while Kopara continued to abuse escort staff.

He then went out of court, and objected to a guiding hand from a police escort.

“Don’t touch me, bro,” he said, shrugging the hand off.

A shop staff member said after the robbery that the offenders became angry because the shop’s takings were in a time delayed safe and they couldn’t get any more than about $150. One staff member was stabbed in the lower stomach and the other received a cut to the top of his chest.

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