Mobster was banned for gang recruitment plan

Christchurch Mongrel Mob boss Joseph “Junior” Wiringi was banned from doing his community work sentence after he said he would use it for gang recruitment, says Community Probation.

The former president of the mob’s Aotearoa chapter – his full name is Joseph Robert Tumene Wiringi – tells a slightly different account.

He says that after his two-hour induction session on the first day, Community Probation decided he would be breaching his prison release conditions by going to community work with so many other mobsters he was not meant to associate with.

It has all come back to bite him, because probation applied to cancel the sentence and that has led to part of a one-year jail term imposed in the Christchurch District Court for that, and a series of other offences.

Judge David Saunders seemed to prefer the probation version that they found him unsuitable for work at the work centre where he was to carry out 200 hours, after he “identified himself as the president of the mob and said community work would be a good opportunity to recruit for the Mongrel Mob”. He had done just two hours of the sentence.

In any case, defence counsel David Stringer told the court that Wiringi had now told the gang that he wanted to “step back” because he now wants to concentrate on rehabilitation.

In September, Wiringi was convicted at a trial of illtreatment of a dog and possession of an offensive weapon – a spade he brandished at police who went to his house to check on the dog after a neighbour reported the sounds of a beating.

Wiringi said he kicked the dog “up the bum” because it had escaped from the section, and it then bit him when he checked on it. Then he found it had chewed up the sofa at the New Brighton Road property.

In fact, the tan and white English bulldog was found with a small mouth injury when police and an SPCA inspector found it cowering in its kennel.

When police searched the property later, they found a taser in Wiringi’s bedroom and charged him with possession of a restricted weapon.

Mr Stringer said that although Wiringi had brandished the spade at the police coming onto his property, he had not used it. He had put it down and gone inside the house, and once police back-up arrived he was co-operative and was arrested.

Judge Saunders imposed a series of cumulative jail terms totalling a year.

He said Wiringi’s behaviour towards the dog had been “fairly brutal” and imposed an order banning him from have control or authority over any animal for five years. He said: “You have forfeited your right to be an animal owner as a result of what I heard.”

He also imposed a special condition of the sentence for Wiringi to have a psychological assessment or treatment as directed, with counselling for anger management.

Mr Stringer said Wiringi knew he had to get his anger under control. “He desperately needs intervention and a complete change of approach,” he told the judge.