Guilty plea from mosque abuser

A 33-year-old labourer has pleaded guilty to yelling abuse at people outside the Al Noor Mosque on Wednesday, and has been remanded on bail for sentencing.

Daniel Nicholas Tuapawa was wearing a Donald Trump shirt when he yelled abuse outside the mosque, but was allowed to walk away from police.

He was arrested on Thursday, and pleaded guilty to being in a public place when he behaved in an insulting manner that was likely in the circumstances to cause violence against persons to start.

About 4.30pm Tuapawa yelled abuse, calling Muslims names and saying they “need to leave”.

Defence counsel Steven Hembrow said Tuapawa was deeply ashamed and could not explain his behaviour.

He said he had gone walking through the park, stopped to look at flowers and then could not remember what happened next.

When he was shown video footage of the abuse he was shocked, upset, and distressed at what he saw.

He said he had nothing against Muslims, and could not explain his actions, but would live with his actions for the rest of his life.

Mr Hembrow said Tuapawa had a history of alcohol and drug abuse in the past, and had stopped his medication for anxiety for some time before this incident.

Judge Bridget Mackintosh remanded Tuapawa on bail for sentencing on July 31. She has referred him for a restorative justice conference, and asked for a pre-sentence report.

One of his conditions of bail is that he is not to be found within 500 metres of any mosque in Christchurch.