The police are prosecuting the wrong man

I feel the police are prosecuting the wrong man in this case.

A convicted thief has been accused of “making this up” after he told of being caught, tied up, beaten for two hours, blindfolded, questioned, and thrown in a river at Kaiapoi.

Matthew Darryl Pender-McLean, who was 20 at the time, had his evidence at a Christchurch District Court trial challenged in detail under cross-examination by defence counsel Chris McVeigh, QC.

Pender-McLean was giving evidence in a trial about himself and another convicted thief being kidnapped and beaten between being caught and handed to the police on the night of April 7 to 8, 2011.

On trial is David Clemence, owner of the Clemence Drilling Co at Kaiapoi, whose equipment was raided at a drilling work site that night by two men who siphoned diesel. 

Clemence denies 18 charges alleging that he kidnapped the two thieves, assaulted them with intent to injure, as well as charges of assault with a weapon, assault, and threatening to kill or do grievous bodily harm. He is charged as a principal offender, and as a party to the assaults.

The Crown alleges Clemence and a group of Pasifika men who it described as “henchmen” administered a long beating to the two men which went far beyond any citizen’s arrest but amounted to “good old-fashioned revenge”.

Crown prosecutor Deidre Orchard told the court that Clemence had questioned the men to find out who was responsible for earlier thefts of tools and where the gear was.

Pender-McLean told of people suddenly arriving as he and his friend were siphoning diesel from a rig at a work site near the river.

It felt like being targeted by the Ku Klux Klan, he said.

He tried to run but was smashed to the ground by “a huge Samoan”, with a blow that split his eye open. He was then punched and kicked on the ground.

Don’t siphon petrol or nick things and get caught doing it and I think that fellow might find he doesn’t get a hiding.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.