18 May 2010

Guilty pleas at illegal labour trial

2:40 pm on 18 May 2010

Four Hawke's Bay businessmen charged with conspiring to assist overstayers and ship jumpers to live and work illegally in New Zealand have pleaded guilty in Hastings District Court.

The court had heard evidence from four of 36 scheduled witnesses over three days before lawyers for the accused sought a meeting in chambers on Tuesday with Judge Russell Johnson.

When the court reconvened, each lawyer asked that the charge of conspiracy be re-read to the court.

Each of the accused, Michael Porter, Miles Elliot, Darminder Singh and his father Surjit Singh then entered a guilty plea.

Judge Johnson said the Crown will now prepare a summary of facts. If there is any dispute by the defence, he may hear more evidence before passing sentence.