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Prison time for Sofitel Hotel shooters

21 Apr 2023

| Author: Jamie Dierick

R v Reihana & Ors [2023] NZHC 580 (Moore J)

Sentencing Act 2002 – sentencing starting point – multiple offenders with different roles -aggravating features – planning and premeditation – organised criminal group – multiple attackers – danger to others – discount for personal factors – remorse – early guilty plea.

Note: One of the defendants in this case, P, received name suppression.

Sentencing for three defendants involved in the Sofitel Hotel shooting, Hone Reihana, P and Tyran Panapa. The offending arose out of rising gang tensions in Auckland in which the defendants had ties to the Head Hunters gang. The victim was previously connected to the Head Hunters but had changed allegiance.

The shooting occurred after a raft of inter-gang confrontations at commercial and residential premises between the Head Hunters and Mongols, culminating in the shooting of a Mr Swann at the Sofitel Hotel on 15 April 2021. The shooting occurred in the reception area of the hotel. There were two staff members in the vicinity at the time.

Some weeks later, on 20 May 2021, after a search warrant was executed on Panapa’s address, a pump-action sawn-off shotgun, 106 rounds of ammunition, a semi-automatic rifle with 30 rounds of magazines and 23 rounds of ammunition, as well as 1.723 kilograms of cannabis, was discovered.

The court identified several aggravating features such as a level of planning and premeditation, it being an organised criminal group, multiple attackers and the danger to others.

A starting point of five years, six months imprisonment was adopted for Reihana, as he was the principal offender who discharged the firearm.

Starting points of four years’ imprisonment were adopted for the two secondary offenders, P and Panapa. Both parties were seen to play a limited role, with Panapa merely identifying Swann’s presence and P was said to have taken no active steps in the shooting itself. However, Panapa received an uplift of one year and six months’ imprisonment for the firearm and cannabis offending, resulting in a global starting point of five years and six months’ imprisonment.

For Reihana, a 30% discount was given for personal factors. This included a 15% discount for an early guilty plea, 5% for remorse and 10% for factors identified in a cultural report. This resulted in an end sentence of three years and 10 months’ imprisonment.

P was given a discount of 15% for personal factors identified in his cultural report. No discount was given for time spent on restrictive bail.

Panapa was given a discount of 36% for personal factors. This included a discount of 20% for factors identified in a cultural report, 10% for an early guilty plea and 6% for time spent on restrictive bail. This resulted in an end sentence of three years and six months’ imprisonment.

Held: Mr Reihana received a sentence of three years and 10 months’ imprisonment. Panapa received a sentence of three years’ and six months imprisonment. P received a sentence of three years and five months’ imprisonment.

R v Reihana & Ors

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