Gisborne courtroom conduct pushes judge to the limit

by Sol Dolor07 Sep 2016
Two men have who had outbursts on two separate occasions at the Gisborne District Court have been jailed for contempt. The outbursts prompted the judge to strongly remind the community that the court is place of dignity.
Visiting circuit judge Tony Adeane made his remarks after jailing Cohen Rawiri Irwin, 32, and Regan Wiremu Hatea-A-Rangi Kaa-Tuari, 23, after he experienced “all manner of unacceptable behaviours” in the previous week, The Gisborne Herald reported.
According to the judge, everyone who had to use the court was entitled to the dignity of the court and the process.
The judge particularly noted that conduct of court-goers in Gisborne is deteriorating and that judges in the area are tolerant of behaviour unacceptable elsewhere.
Judges in the city have tolerated “sunglasses, baseball caps, ‘love you babe’-ing, ‘yo bro’-ing, and high-fiving,” said the judge. While there must be respect of cultural practice, there must also be respect for court culture, he said.
The two most noteworthy instances, the report noted, were those of Irwin and Kaa-Tuari.
Irwin was jailed overnight, but quickly apologised to the judge the following day in a “well-articulated apology” where he said he was embarrassed about what he had done, reported The Gisborne Herald.
Irwin said he was brought up well with his grandparents raising him on a marae and that he had realised the judge was right that his conduct was intolerable.
The judge said Irwin should be more careful of his impulses before he discharged the man.
Kaa-Tuari, on the other hand, was not as fortunate as Irwin as he received an additional 28 days to his 30-month sentence after being found guilty of domestic violence.
In his apology, the man said through his lawyer that the comment he yelled was for a gang associate in the gallery and not for the judge.
Adeane said it doesn’t matter who the comment was for just that it was obscene and was made in a courtroom.