Tangapiri Teikamata, 58, was sentenced to two years and one-month imprisonment in September at the Christchurch District Court after indecently assaulting a woman in 2015.
Almost all details of the incident have been suppressed but it can be reported that the incident happened during a massage.
Teikamata initially denied the allegation when he was charged in 2018, but then pleaded guilty in March last year. However, in May he requested to vacate his guilty plea which was denied.
Teikamata had three prior convictions for indecently assaulting a woman in 1998 and was imprisoned for raping another woman in 2008. Teikamata was also imprisoned for indecently assaulting an 18-year-old woman in 2017.
Throughout the judicial process, Teikamata has been through 11 lawyers, claiming they all gave him bad legal advice.
Earlier this month he appeared in the High Court at Christchurch before Justice Helen Cull to appeal his sentence and conviction.
The grounds for his appeal included that he believed he had been falsely charged and previously convicted as another person, Teikamata, when his real name was Tangapiri Tito.
He claimed there was a procedural error in that there was no guilty plea from him or trial on the charge of indecent assault, that he was forced into pleading guilty, and his application to vacate the guilty plea was heard in his absence.
During the appeal, Teikamata told Justice Cull he was not guilty.
“I thought the rules say you have to be guilty to be thrown in prison,”
“It never happened. The police don’t have any evidence at all.”
He submitted he had been falsely arrested in place of Teikamata and “forced, threatened, coerced and harassed” to appear in Court for Teikamata and to take part in identity fraud.
He said the courts’ agents had randomly interchanged names which was unlawful, as his birth certificate was conclusive lawful evidence of his identity, and that he was not the accused.
Crown prosecutor Courtney Martyn submitted there was substantial evidence proving who Teikamata was.
Justice Cull said in her ruling, released on Wednesday, she was “satisfied” that Teikamata and Tito were “one and the same individual”.
“There has been no miscarriage of justice and this ground is without merit”.
Teikamata also claimed his previous lawyers had not asked for his affidavit, or his side of the story. However, he declined to waive privilege over any communications between himself and his lawyers.
He also said Judge David Ruth, who sentenced him, violated due process by refusing to vacate his guilty plea.
“In the absence of cogent evidence, I have considerable difficulty accepting that the appellant’s previous 11 lawyers, including two KCs, have all him wrongful or negligent advice,” Justice Cull said.
“It is telling that the appellant declined to waive privilege over the advice he received to support his claims that the advice was negligent.”
Teikamata had not provided the court with a “sufficient basis” to conclude that one of the “exceptional circumstances” applied to him to succeed in an appeal against conviction, Justice Cull said.
“Further, there was probative and compelling evidence against him.”
Justice Cull dismissed his appeals against his sentence and conviction.
At his sentencing, Judge Ruth addressed Teikamata and said he had a concerning record of sexual predatory behaviour.
Judge Ruth said Teikamata had three prior convictions for indecently assaulting a woman in 1998 and was imprisoned for raping another woman in 2008.
Teikamata was also imprisoned for indecently assaulting an 18-year-old woman in 2017.
“I regard you as a seriously concerning sexual predator.”
-By Sam Sherwood