Two days of deliberation yielded a mixture of unanimous and
majority verdicts - mostly guilty - against a Northland CYF
caregiver accused of physically and sexually abusing
vulnerable children in his care.
A jury of eight-women and four-men found Taite Hemi Kupa
guilty in the High Court at Whangarei yesterday afternoon on
21 of 23 charges.
Kupa, 57, faced nine counts of assaulting a child under 14,
one of assaulting a female, three of raping a child under 16,
nine of unlawful sexual connection with a child under 16, and
one of attempted rape of a child under 16.
Most of the charges relate to alleged offences in the
Whangarei CYF family home he ran with his wife but one
relates to an address in Kaitaia.
The Crown this week added new charges to the indictment after
all the evidence was presented, adding four extra counts of
assaulting a child under 14.
The jury started their deliberation on Wednesday morning and
retired for the day at 5pm before returning to court
At 11.30am yesterday, Justice Reynor Asher directed them on
rules around majority verdicts before they went back to the
jury room to continue their deliberation.
The judge was advised about 3.10pm that the verdicts were
ready to be delivered.
Unanimous guilty verdicts were delivered on nine charges of
assaulting a child under the age of 14 and one of male
Majority verdicts of guilty by 11 of the 12 jury members were
returned on six charges of sexual violation by unlawful
sexual connection, three of rape, one of attempted rape, and
one of attempted sexual violation by unlawful sexual
There were unanimous not guilty verdicts on two charges of
sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection.
Following the verdicts, Justice Asher convicted Kupa on the
counts on which he was found guilty and remanded him in
custody for sentencing on June 20.
He ordered pre-sentence reports before that date. Justice
Asher thanked the jury for their service and said their
experience during the case had been a significant event for
- By Imran Ali of the Northern Advocate