A Ngaruawahia gang leader who attacked his Sergeant at Arms in a brazen de-patching in the town’s main street has been jailed for more than seven years.
During his sentencing in the Hamilton District Court today, Allan James Pink, known as Jamie Pink, was described by Judge Robert Spear as a “curious mix of a person”; his lengthy list of criminal convictions matched with a long-standing and dedicated charity work for school children in the Waikato.
In September, Pink was found guilty at trial of one charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
He was found not guilty of participating in a criminal group.
The charge came about after Pink ordered his gang members to search for his Sergeant at Arms, Zion Coker.
He was eventually spotted in his car on Ngaruawahia’s main street and a group of 10 set upon him.
Pink turned up with an axe and smashed it several times into his knees as Coker lay curled up in a ball on the footpath.
The incident, on August 8, 2018, was seen by many locals, most of whom were too scared to testify against him.
However, two women and a truck driver, eventually did and it was their testimony which convinced a jury that Pink was involved.
Pink had denied taking part in the attack. Instead stating that he was around the corner at a cafe when told Coker had been found. He went to the scene to try and stop the violence, taking the axe off one of his group.
Crown prosecutor Jacinda Hamilton said the attack was a highly pre-meditated and retributive assault.
“The defendant led what only can be characterised as an orchestrated and frenzied attack and he did so in broad daylight on the streets of a small, rural town.
“What they did was effectively corner the victim, outnumber him, place themselves in a situation where if they had chosen they could have demanded the return of the patch without the need for any violence. But they did none of that.”
Hamilton said the attack was designed to send a message not only to the victim, who suffered serious injuries to his knees and a broken thumb, but other members of the community who would consider crossing Pink and his gang.
She urged Judge Robert Spear to take a starting point of 10 to 11 years before offering any discounts.
Pink’s lawyer Russel Boot tried to steer Judge Spear away from such a hefty starting point and urged him to take into account all the good work he had done in the community.
He asked him to make an overall assessment of the evidence given at trial and that it wasn’t gang warfare, rather a gang carrying out an attack on one of its own.
“One makes an open choice to join the Tribal Huks and is aware of the responsible and requirements of such.”
He said it was unclear how the attack had impacted on the victim as he had never taken part in the prosecution.
But Judge Spear said while it was a matter of a gang seeking to maintain power over its members, which in this case was caused by Coker allegedly being involved in the methamphetamine trade.
“There was nothing on behalf of Mr Coker to have provoked this attack … but causing this attack to happen is something that could never be countenanced, excused, or mitigated in this country.
“The degree of violence involved here was extreme. While I accept that the head was not targeted by you, only the legs, clearly it was your intention to maim this man as best you could without causing a risk to his life.”
He described the witnesses as “very brave” to give evidence given the circumstances.
“The degree of prominence that you have in the Ngaruawahia community was such that you were easily recognisable and there was no doubt at all in the minds of those two women who saw you commit this attack that you were in fact wielding that axe with force against the legs of Mr Coker.”
“Of concern is that you felt able, in the small community of Ngaruawahia, to carry out such a brazen attack on the main street in broad daylight, no doubt not believing that anyone would have the will to give evidence against you.
“That cannot be allowed and go unchecked.
Judge Spear also noted the more charitable side to Pink, describing him as a “curious mixture of a person”.
“You have a family and appear to be very proud of them but of course they had a very different childhood to the one you had.
“On thinking about this case in preparation for this hearing, I realised that you are a curious mixture of a person.
“It is clear that you have found a family with the Tribal Huk gang and no doubt that has provided you with some direction in your life, whatever direction that might be, but you have turned a lot of that to good.
“Perhaps it came from the many occasions when you were sent to primary school without any food for lunch that you developed, through the Tribal Huk gang, a lunch in schools programme in the Waikato.”
At one stage, Pink was delivering up to 1000 lunches a day to various schools in the Waikato. He also held a Christmas Party for disadvantaged children in Ngaruawahia and gave cash to schools for drug education.
“I cannot ignore that. I consider that it is a factor that should weigh heavily in your favour when I come to assess what the eventual sentence should be here.
“Sadly because of this offending and the fact you will be incarcerated, that programme will come to an end.”
Judge Spear gave discounts totalling 30 per cent for his work in the community and his background, resulting in an end sentence of seven years and four months’ prison.
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