Convicted sex offender on the run
Corrections lost track of two sex offenders after they cut their electronic monitoring bracelets off and disappeared.
Police confirmed to Stuff they were notified by Corrections on January 8 that two offenders who were being monitored in the community had removed their monitoring bracelets and disappeared from a Hamilton address.
The two offenders are Tukere Ngamanu, 33, and Toko Pearson, 35, who are both convicted sex offenders. Police confirmed late Tuesday that they had found Toko and are holding him in custody.
Police says in a statement locating the men was a priority for Waikato police and there were dedicated police staff currently following active leads, but members of the public were only notified about the men's disappearance through a post on their Facebook page on January 11. The notice contains no warnings or mention of their extensive criminal history, including indecent assault of a child in Pearson's case, and rape in Ngamanu's.
Pearson has a string of convictions being sentenced to seven years in jail with a minimum non-parole period of four years and eight months for charges of injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and burglary. This came from when he terrorised two women just four days after he was released from jail on parole in 2004.
It was revealed in court Pearson, who was 20 at the time, had 33 previous convictions.
His offending saw him violently assault a woman at a toilet block in Tauranga after he approached her twice in a nightclub and she ignored him and walked away.
He became angry and decided to wait for her. Early the next morning, the woman - who had been sleeping in her car with a friend - went to a nearby toilet block. As she came out, he pounced and violently assaulted her until she managed to break free and he ran off.
A short time later, he broke into a house in Park St, took off his clothes and wandered around in his singlet and boxer shorts. He went into one of the bedrooms where a woman was asleep. As he stood in the doorway she woke up and turned on the light.
After his arrest, Pearson told police he wanted to find women that night and touch them.
He had just completed three years of a five-year jail term, after pleading guilty in 2001 to indecently assaulting a seven-year-old girl, seven charges of burglary, two of attempted burglary and one charge of theft.
Most of his burglaries were committed while he wandered around women's houses semi-naked and fantasied about touching them, according to media reports of his sentencing.
When Pearson appeared in the Rotorua High Court in 2004 a request for preventative detention was declined by the judge, who said it was too harsh because he was only 20 and had a tragic upbringing.
Ngamanu pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual violation by rape and two charges of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection in the Whakatane District Court in 2008.
The offending happened when the victim was seven and continued for four years until Ngamanu was arrested.
In response to questions from Stuff, Corrections said the GPS Immediate Response Team was notified of a strap tamper at 8.55pm and a field officer was sent to the address, where it was confirmed two offenders had breached the conditions of their supervision order.
A man, who knew the pair, but Stuff agreed not to name, says he could not understand why the men weren't receiving more publicity.
"We should have [people] watching out for them," the man says.
National's corrections spokesman David Bennett says the bigger issue was that Labour wants to reduce the prison population by putting offenders in the community on electronic monitoring bracelets.
He says this was putting the community at risk.
David says it was inevitable people were going to cut their bracelets off, but they were designed for people who had shown they had an intention to reform and they were being used in a way they were not designed for.
"Those people have been shown to have broken the law, they have shown to not be trustworthy. In a lot of those cases prison was the appropriate place for them."
Corrections says they encourage anyone with information to contact police on 111 or give information anonymously via CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.