A man left paralysed after being shot by police near Otane
has been convicted of threatening to kill the police officers
who shot him.
On October 20 last year, David Andrew Taite (49), wanted by
police, was pulled over with his cousin by police just
outside Otane. All police working the nightshift that evening
were armed because they had received information there was
likely to be an aggravated robbery that night.
Two police officers, identified only as Officers P and Q,
approached the vehicle and undertook identification checks,
suspecting correctly the passenger was Taite. While this
occurred, Taite became agitated and against the advice of his
cousin, got out of the vehicle and approached the police
The charges, along with two for dangerous driving, were the
subject of a defended hearing in late September, where Taite
was later found not guilty of presenting a whiskey bottle as
if it were a firearm. Yet his claim that he approached
officers to surrender himself was dismissed by Judge Brooke
"I believe that he thought that if he confronted the police
in an aggressive way then he might be able to force them to
withdraw and he could make good his escape," Judge Gibson's
Despite police warnings they were armed and he should stop
approaching them, Taite continued to approach Officer P, and
was shot once.
Evidence presented by Taite, his cousin and the two police
officers differed slightly during the defended hearing, but
Judge Gibson agreed there were threats made by Taite.
"Consequently the evidence satisfies me that the defendant
did make threats to the officers in the way described, namely
statements that he had a gun and threats to kill them."
Taite's claim that he threatened police only after he was
shot, was rejected.
"In any event not only did he utter the words but he meant
them to be taken seriously and so the two informations of
threatening to kill are proved against the defendant beyond
reasonable doubt, the required standard of proof in a
When approaching police he had his hand in his pocket,
concealing something the police officers thought was a
While Judge Gibson acknowledged it was Taite's intention to
give the officers the impression he had a gun, he was
discharged on the two charges of presenting a whiskey bottle
as if it were a firearm as he had not at any point actually
- Corey Charlton