Print this page

PM’s nephew loses appeal against conviction

Friday September 30, 2016 Written by Published in Politics
Prime Ministers nephew Tuakeu Puna, was jailed for 20 months for filming up women’s skirts. SUPPLIED/16092911 Prime Ministers nephew Tuakeu Puna, was jailed for 20 months for filming up women’s skirts. SUPPLIED/16092911

Prime Minister Henry Puna’s nephew lost his appeal against a conviction for trawling shopping malls for young women and filming up their skirts.

 

Tuakeu Cecil Puna appeared at a Court of Appeal in Auckland, New Zealand, where the court found that the offending occurred over more than a year and that Puna had edited the recordings for his own sexual gratification.

Puna was sentenced for 20 months imprisonment in May earlier this year for eight counts of making intimate visual recordings, one of attempting to do so and 17 for the possession of such recordings.

According to the New Zealand Herald the 40 year old would scour South Auckland malls looking for young attractive women, whom he found working in jewellery, lingerie and clothing shops.

Puna's conviction appeal was made on the basis that evidence was obtained unlawfully during a warrantless search and so shouldn't have been admitted at trial. However, in a decision released last week the Court of Appeal found the evidence was admissible as it had been found lawful and reasonable pre-trial.

Puna also submitted the judge's sentence starting point of 20 months was too high for offending under the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act.

The court heard that Puna turned up to malls in the morning or when shops were closing to have fewer witnesses and how he would even take his daughter at times to provide cover.

He was eventually caught in the act and police detained Puna's electronic devices where they found he had edited some of the up-skirt videos.

Some were set to music and the victims told the court they had become paranoid and felt violated since discovering they had been filmed without their knowledge or consent.

One said she was violently sick after giving evidence at trial, while another described the incidents as symptomatic of "rape culture".

Puna was found guilty of a similar offence in 2013 where he stalked a woman around a shopping mall for 40 minutes before putting his hand up her skirt. Puna is the second of the PM’s nephews to appear in the Manukau District Court this year. In January teacher Nga Puna became the first person to be arrested over his student loan debt of $130,000.

He was only allowed to leave New Zealand after making a "significant repayment" and a brief court appearance.