Judge says man can't pray in targeted mosques

Forty-three people were killed in the Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch. Photo: AP
Forty-three people were killed in the Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch. Photo: AP

A man accused of disorderly conduct outside Christchurch's Al Noor mosque shooting scene has today pleaded with a judge to be allowed inside the building to pray.

William Kapea, of Christchurch, was arrested on Saturday for allegedly behaving in a disorderly manner outside the mosque in Deans Ave where 43 people were killed in a terror attack on March 15.

Police say the 66-year-old's behaviour, in the current circumstances where the South Island city remains on edge, could have caused "violence against persons to start".

A heavily-tattooed Kapea appeared from custody at the Christchurch District Court this morning.

In the dock, he took a prison gown off and appeared bare chested before Judge Tony Couch.

Duty lawyer Kirsty May said Kapea was due back in court on Thursday on another disorderly behaviour charge.

While the court was discussing bail conditions for Kapea not to come within 100m of both the Al Noor and Linwood mosques, where another seven people were shot dead, the accused interrupted proceedings to say, "I'm from the wound of God".

He denied behaving badly on Saturday and pleaded with Judge Couch to be allowed into the Hagley Park mosque to pray, or else in Cathedral Square.

Kapea said the police could escort him inside and then take him away.

"Please sir, that's all I ask," he said.

But Judge Couch said the allegations against him were serious and "a matter of grave concern in the present circumstances".

The judge said he was not going to allow him near either mosque and he could either pray in private or else in a public place as long as it did not disturb other people.

Kapea was remanded on bail to reappear on Thursday.


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