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A year of New Zealand crime

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/12/2016

HOLY COW

* Some 500 cows mysteriously vanished from an Ashburton property in August, leaving the farmer, police and the public udderly confused. In the end, it appeared the herd had been shuffled away piecemeal and no culprit was found.

* From cows to horses: Police in July arrested three men after finding a record-breaking 35 kilograms of cocaine inside a 400-kilogram diamante-encrusted horse head statue being flown into the country. The trio - from Mexcio and the US - will stand trial next year.

PAYOUTS

* The year brought closure to the David Bain saga, with the government giving Bain - acquitted of the 1995 killings of his family after serving 13 years in jail - an $925,000 "ex-gratia" payment but denying him compensation after a six-year process marred in controversy.

* For his 21 years behind bars after a wrongful conviction for the killing of Susan Burdett, Teina Pora was granted $2.5 million compensation. He's now seeking a review of the government decision to not include inflation in his payout.

OUTCRY

* Protests were sparked across the country when David Haerewa and Tania Shailer were offered deals to plead to manslaughter over the killing of three-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri. The pair were each given a 17-year sentence and have appealed.

* Meanwhile, former Wellington rugby player Losi Filipo, 18, was sentenced to home detention after a public outcry over his discharge without conviction over a "chilling" assault on four people last year led to the punishment being reconsidered.

INSANITY

* Evelyn Sen, 44, was found not guilty of murder by way of insanity after admitting to fatally poising her four-year-old daughter Maggie Renee Watson in Auckland's Onehunga because she thought she was saving the child from demonic possession

* Remuera jogger Jo Pert's killer, Tevita Filo, was also found insane after a court heard believed he was living in a computer program. It was then revealed police caught Filo, with a knife, stalking a couple the night before Pert's death , but let him go.

MR BIG

* The trial and conviction of double-murderer Kamal Reddy revealed the extreme lengths undercover police were willing to go to in order to get a confession from a killer. An elaborate, fake criminal organisation scheme eventually got Reddy to show officers where he buried Pakeeza Yusuf, 24, and her three-year-old daughter Juwairiyah Kalim in 2006.

TULLY

After much delay, Russell John Tully stood trial and was convicted of murdering WINZ workers Leigh Cleveland and Peggy Noble in 20014. During the trial, in which he represented himself, Tully was thrown out multiple times for outbursts in court.

TRAFFICKING

* The year saw the country's first conviction for people trafficking, with 46-year-old Aucklander Faroz Ali found guilty of duping Fijian workers into coming to New Zealand and then exploiting them for cheap labour on orchards.

ALEX FISHER

* Levin schoolboy Alex Fisher's half-brother Eric Baden McIsaac, 26, admitted to murdering the 10-year-old last year and was sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 14 years.

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