A patched Rebels member pointed a pistol at a victim, who was ambushed by gang members while delivering drugs, and asked if he wanted to die.
The aggravated robbery was a prelude to a violent home invasion by members of the outlaw motorcycle club’s Rangitikei chapter as tensions escalated between them and the victims, according to the police summary of facts.
Djay Wiremu Peeti-Chase was in a group of armed Rebels during an ambush of two drug dealers as they made a cannabis delivery in the dead of night to an address in Bulls.
After the pair parked their car about 11.30pm on August 24, 2021, Peeti-Chase approached the man, brandishing the firearm and asking, ‘Do you want to die?’
As the drug dealers fled the scene, leaving their car behind, Peeti-Chase fired two shots at the victim.
When the pair returned, their vehicle’s tyres had been slashed and the cannabis along with their tobacco had been stolen.
On September 17, two carloads of armed gangsters descended on the home of their victims in Marton, where they were joined by another member who had been hiding out at an address nearby.
“They were all wearing Rebels patches or clothing, and were armed with hammers, knives and a pistol.”
After leaving their vehicles in the middle of the road, the gangsters began walking up the driveway where they confronted two of the victims.
One of the men was punched in the face by a Rebels member before being pulled to the ground, after punching back, where he was repeatedly kicked and hit in the head by three other gangsters.
The other man ran inside the house to warn others.
As another victim tried to get into the garage, he was knocked to the ground by a blow to the back of his head.
Peeti-Chase hit a woman, who had appeared in the driveway to see what the gangsters wanted, across the face with the weapon. The force of the blow caused the woman to stumble backwards and fall over a fence before she was able to run inside and call police.
Peeti-Chase, followed by a knife-wielding associate, entered the garage and approached a man sitting on a recliner, pointing the pistol at him while accusing him of being a nark.
The other gangster held the knife to the victim’s throat before Peeti-Chase hit him in the head with the butt of the pistol. He was then struck with the knife, knocking him unconscious.
The knife-wielding assailant then assaulted a teenage girl, knocking her to the ground where he repeatedly kicked and stomped on her ribs before punching another young girl in the head, knocking her out.
However, as the gangster attempted to attack another victim, others at the address began to fight back, sparking an all-out brawl.
“Eventually, the victims were able to overpower the Rebels, causing the Rebels to retreat to a nearby address.”
Peeti-Chase appeared before Judge Justin Marinovich in the Marton District Court on Thursday for sentencing on two charges: aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary.
Crown prosecutor Jack Liu asked for a further nine charges Peeti-Chase was facing to be dismissed because no evidence would be offered, which the judge granted.
Liu said the victims were entitled to feel safe in their own home and, while he acknowledged the positive steps Peeti-Chase had taken towards rehabilitation, he said the sentence needed to reflect the severity of the offending.
Defence lawyer Debbie Goodlet submitted that Peeti-Chase was entitled to discounts on his sentence due to the depravity and lack of supervision he endured growing up.
“Their role produced the type of behaviour we are dealing with at the moment,” she said.
Peeti-Chase was now motivated to change, had set positive goals for himself and was focused on improving his future conduct.
Judge Marinovich acknowledged the honesty shown by Peeti-Chase’s family, including his father who was a member of the Mongrel Mob and Rebels, about how their actions and conduct during his upbringing had shaped his behaviour.
Violence and drugs were part of life for the 21-year-old growing up, along with horrendous physical and psychological abuse as well as exposure to substance abuse, the judge said - adding that he wasn’t giving discounts for the sake of giving discounts.
“It’s not surprising you turned to gang life and turned to violence.
“How you move forward will be up to you.”
Judge Marinovich sentenced Peeti-Chase to five years and two months’ imprisonment.
Calls of “love you, brother” and “love you, dude” rang out from the public gallery as Peeti-Chase was taken from the court.
One supporter also took the opportunity to express his gratitude to Judge Marinovich for the realistic and measured approach he had shown at sentencing.
“Thank you for your leniency,” he called, and gave a small bow of appreciation before disappearing out the door.
Leighton Keith joined NZME as an Open Justice reporter based in Whanganui in 2022. He’s been a journalist for 20 years covering a variety of topics and rounds.
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