Gang ‘outing’ put departing member in hospital

Murray James Allan says his efforts to leave the Tribesmen gang put him in hospital for two weeks.

He told Judge Jane Farish today that he took his “outing” from the gang when he was released from prison. The outing was a hiding that put him in hospital.

He is now back in custody facing sentencing in September on a list of charges and he remains keen to break his years of the gang connections which have led to the 25-year-old spending most of his adulthood in prison.

He wants to move to Nelson when he is sentenced – Judge Farish has told him he will most likely get a “restrictive rehabilitative sentence”.

She has ordered a drug and alcohol assessment while he is in custody awaiting sentencing, and hopes that there will be programmes available in Nelson to help him break his methamphetamine habit.

His defence counsel Serina Bailey said: “Rehabilitation is crucial. He has got some (criminal) history and a long term drug habit.”

Being in Christchurch meant constant contact with the Tribesmen, and being sent to prison meant he was put straight into a unit with them, Allan told the Christchurch District Court.

Allan had a two-day judge-alone trial this week and was acquitted on two of the three charges. However, he had pleaded guilty to other charges at various stages and now faces sentencing on September 28 on a total of nine charges.

They are unlawful possession of a sawn-off pump-action shotgun, possession of a meth pipe, and a restricted weapon – pepper spray, as well as breach of his sex offender registration rules, breach of prison release conditions, dishonestly taking a car, possession of cannabis and methamphetamine, and unlawful possession of ammunition.

Some of the charges arose from an incident where he cut off his electronic bracelet and went on the run from electronically monitored bail.

Allen gave evidence at the trial, trying his best to explain the boot full of fresh burglary loot and a sawn-off shotgun which the police found when they stopped his car.

Allan has had a very bad time with police stops. In February 2017, he pulled out an imitation pistol and was shot in the face by police. He got 18 months in jail after that incident.

Then, after his release from prison, after he took back his car which had been taken by someone while he was in prison, the car was reported stolen and a police stop found the boot full of laptops and other items taken in a burglary only hours before.

Allan expressed shock and surprise at how it all got there, when he was interviewed by the police. The DVD recording of that interview was played at the trial.

He was less shocked about it when he gave evidence in his defence. He said a man named Nana had asked to put bags in the boot when he picked him up from Parklands Mall.

He had no idea what was in the bags, but didn’t want to admit to the police that he knew about them, in case Nana had drug paraphernalia in there. He didn’t know Nana’s last name, nor much else about him, though he had let him drive his other car. Nana had got out of the BMW just before the police stop, and got in another car with his cousin – they were all meant to be going to the same place.

Allan told the court: “I’m not a burglar.”

The police fingerprinted the burglary items and the shotgun but found no prints. “Burglars these days usually wear gloves,” the officer in charge of the case, Constable Chris Earl, explained to the court.

Allan admitted charges of unlawful possession of a pepperspray canister and a meth pipe found in the car, but denied any knowledge of an extendable baton, saying it must have belonged to one of his passengers. He also denied knowing about the shotgun in the boot.

Crown prosecutor Will Taffs called evidence that Allan had taken back his car early on December 15, 2017, the same day as a daylight burglary at a property in Main North Road where laptops, a camera, clothes, and shoes were taken.

Allan originally said no-one else had driven the car after he got it, but then he said he had taken it back from a driveway in Woolston the previous day and other people had access to it in the meantime while it was “parked up”. He also told about Nana putting his bags in the boot.

He also explained that he had a history of driving off from police stops and getting into pursuits, and if he had known what was in the boot he would not have stopped that night.

He told the court: “It is quite a fast car. I would have had no trouble getting away. I have quite a few previous convictions for failing to stop.”

Judge Farish said the police had not excluded that the baton could have belonged to one of the passengers in the car – it was found next to one of them – and because other people had access to the car and the boot, she was not satisfied that Allan was one of the burglars. She dismissed those charges, saying it was more likely he was an accessory to the burglary.

However, she believed it was most likely that the shotgun in the boot was “in his possession” and was put there while he had the car. She convicted him of that charge.

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