Media Statement No. 28
Detective Senior Sergeant Bensemann, the Officer in Charge of the Homicide enquiry into the murder of two year old Jhia Harmony Te Tua, said late this morning that "the 12th person wanted in connection for the murder of Jhia Te Tua had been located by staff in the City".
The person made no attempt to resist his apprehension and once the game was up came quietly with Police.
He is expected to appear in the Wanganui District Court this afternoon.
"The total number of persons charged with the murder of Jhia Te Tua now numbers twelve", he said. "The situation with multiple offenders charged with the same offence is relativity common in New Zealand" he said, "although for murder it is rare but not unprecedented".
Inspector Duncan MacLeod, Area Commander for Wanganui indicated that in his 32 years of Policing he was aware that this is the 3rd occasion that multiple offenders had been charged with murder. "The principal of charging persons as a party to an offence occurs just about everyday in New Zealand", he said.
"There have been 60 arrests by Police of Gang members or associates since the 5th of May 2007", said Inspector MacLeod. "These offences include the high profile charges of murder, but also Accessory After the Fact, Drug offending, Breach of Bail, Warrants to arrest, Driving, Unlawful assembly, Perverting the course of justice, assault and disorder".
"The Police staff have served the community of Wanganui and New Zealand well and all should be justly proud of their commitment, dedication and professionalism. I know I have enormous pride in the efforts of these men and women", said Mr MacLeod
Policing is about law enforcement, about holding those responsible for crime accountable for their actions.
"The support and encouragement the Wanganui Police have received from the wider community has been exceptional. I thank the Wanganui people for that support and all the information they have provided which has assisted us".
"The community of Wanganui can be assured that Policing of the City will continue with the same vigour and vitality of recent weeks, and that any offending by gangs will continue to receive a robust response from Police".
For further information contact Inspector Duncan MacLeod, at the Wanganui Police Station, Phone 06 349 0600