2 Jul 2010

Solicitor-General appeals against Vercoe sentence

1:58 pm on 2 July 2010

The Solicitor-General has lodged an appeal against the sentence imposed on the 21-year-old Opotiki man who killed Bay of Plenty regional councillor and Rotoiti school principal Hawea Vercoe.

At the High Court at Rotorua last month, Isaiah Tai was jailed for two years 10 months, after pleading guilty in April to manslaughter.

Mr Vercoe, 36, died after being punched to the ground then kicked in the head outside a Whakatane bar last November.

In sentencing, Justice Potter said the violence was unprovoked and gratuitous.

But Hawea Vercoe's aunt, Pene Ryan, described the sentence as an absolute joke which made a mockery of a young man's life.

A Crown Law Office spokesperson says the timeframe of any hearing will be a matter for the Court of Appeal.