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Biker pleads guilty to drug counts

A man once jailed for gunning-down a rival gang leader outside a Napier nightclub faces a possibility of being sentenced to life again for drug offences emanating from a search in which police found almost $124,000 in cash.

Outlaws biker Luke Emmett Needham, now 45, was in 1994 sentenced to life for shooting Black Power leader Robert Te Rure the previous year. With just one other conviction since his release in December 2004, for a minor breach of release conditions, he yesterday pleaded guilty to three charges which followed simultaneous police raids on his flat in Golding Rd, Taradale and a shed in Thorn Pl, Onekawa, on February 16.

Among them was possessing methamphetamine for supply, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, and possession of cannabis for supply, which carries a maximum of 14 years in jail.

The other charge was the possession of 33 pipes for the use of methamphetamine.

In custody since his arrest during the search of his flat, he was remanded for sentence on June 20, although the hearing of an application for recall from parole is scheduled to be heard tomorrow.

According to a summary the two properties were under surveillance by police for some time before the simultaneous morning searches, which found both properties had CCTV monitoring systems of their own.

All the cash was found at the flat, more than $81,000 in one bag and $37,000 in another. Also found at the Golding Rd address was about 15g of methamphetamine, while cannabis found at the two properties totalled more than 300g.

Needham was one of two people charged with the 1993 killing of Mr Te Rure.

The second, Dean Trevor Mellsop, was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter. The jury in a seven-day trial in which the men denied the charge of murder was told the shooting happened after an encounter in a nightclub then known as the Black Market Cafe, which had entrances on both Tennyson and Hastings streets and was previously the long-time site of the Napier Cafeteria.



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