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Newshub car recovered; gear still missing

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/05/2017

The Newshub car stolen form outside the Rotorua courthouse on Tuesday has been found in Whakatane, but $50,000 worth of camera gear is still missing.

So too is one of the alleged offenders.

Police told Judge Tony Snell this in the Rotorua District Court on Wednesday where Hema Iti appeared before him, initially charged with the theft of the car.

However, at the prosecutor's request, that was amended to being a party to the offence.

Iti ,who appeared by audio visual link, pleaded not guilty and was remanded in custody until July 5 for a case review hearing.

Describing Iti's alleged offending as "very brazen", Judge Snell said it occurred while Iti was already at court where he was to be sentenced on a charge of dangerous driving while on his third disqualified driving charge.

In addition, he was to have been sentenced for not complying with a community work order.

On those grounds he rejected a request by Iti's lawyer, Laura Owen, for him to be released on bail with a 24-hour curfew.

While Judge Snell noted Iti's presumption of innocence on the party to car theft charge, he accepted police opposition to bail because of concerns he could hamper on-going investigations into his co-offender's whereabouts, recovery of the camera gear and that he could continue to reoffend while on bail.

Ms Owen said at this stage Iti elected to be tried by a judge alone.

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