Violence, confrontations as murder accused appear

March 27, 2017 | By More

A huge fight broke out inside a Christchurch District Court when a 20-year-old accused of murder appeared.

Six police and court escort staff were needed to subdue and handcuff Cyle Robert Jetson, and more police kept family members in court out of the struggle.

The door to the No 8 District Court had wrongly been locked, preventing Court security staff from getting in to help control the situation.

Further appearances when the judge moved the sitting to another court room, also led to shouting and shoving on a landing in the Court House.

When the appearances had taken place, there was another confrontation outside the Court House involving the family and supporters, police, court security staff, and media.

Three people have been jointly charged with murder over the death of Pierclaudio Raviola, who was found injured in a carpark at Sumner at the weekend.

He has since died in hospital and the three charged with wounding him with intent to cause grievous bodily harm at Saturday court appearances, faced murder charges when they were brought to court today.

All three have been transferred to the High Court, in custody without plea, for appearances on April 12.

The series of incidents began with Jetson’s appearance as part of a Youth Court sitting, because one of the alleged offenders is aged 16, and they are jointly charged.

Family were allowed into the seating in the tiny courtroom, but Judge Stephen O’Driscoll warned that he would clear the court if there was any more calling out. “Love you,” calls had been made by Jetson and supporters outside the courtroom as he was brought in.

Jetson then made a gesture and Judge O’Driscoll told him: “Any signs from you and you are out and I’ll deal with the matter in your absence.”

Jetson entered no pleas to the murder and burglary charges he faces and was remanded, but lunged at one of the people in court as he was being taken out.

Six police piled on to subdue him on the floor of the court room, while Judge O’Driscoll and the Crown prosecutor left the room through the judge’s door.

Others were deterred from joining in by other police, and by one of their number, a woman who confronted them and helped to stop further trouble.

Jetson was handcuffed and taken out to the cells after several minutes, complaining of injuries from the struggle.

Deborah Jean Tihema, 38, then appeared handcuffed in another courtroom when Judge O’Driscoll shifted the sitting. She was remanded to the same date on charges of murder and theft of a car.

The last appearance was by the 16-year-old, who faces charges of murder and burglary.

More family was allowed into the courtroom for his appearances and introduced themselves to the judge as cousins, aunts, an uncle, and a caregiver.

The boy was barefoot, but not handcuffed. Judge O’Driscoll warned him against making comments or giving signs.

He was remanded to the same date in the High Court with the normal Youth Court suppressions applying. Like the others, he was remanded in custody without plea, but he will be held at the Youth Justice facility, at Te Puna Wai, in Rolleston.

No bail applications were made for any of them.

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