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Mongols gang trio intimidated man and took his vehicles

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Taylor Rangi Gage. Photo / ODT

After driving off with a man’s campervan and quad bike, a trio of gang members are ready to change, a court has heard.

Taylor Rangi Gage (45), Clayton Jack Paris Bindon (27) and Regan Trevor Howells (28), part of the Mongols motorcycle club, arrived at the victim’s address on January 8.

“All three of you were wearing T-shirts displaying the club insignia,” Judge David Robinson said at Gage’s sentencing in the Dunedin District Court yesterday.

Counsel for Bindon and Howells, who were sentenced on May 20, said their clients had a lesser role in the incident, as they said nothing to the victim.

However, the judge said “[their] mere presence and the regalia [they] were wearing carried a threat of its own”.

When the victim exited his house, Gage began accusing the man of naming him in an unrelated incident.

“This was denied, but you refused to accept it,” the court heard.

After snatching car keys from around the victim’s neck, Gage demanded the keys to his campervan and quad bike as well.

Clayton Jack Paris Bindon. Photo / ODT
Clayton Jack Paris Bindon. Photo / ODT

“Your co-offenders essentially stood over the victim while you continued to demand he hand them over,” the judge said.

The victim’s mother and two children were also present.

Once the trio had the keys, they left in the respective vehicles.

The next day, Gage returned the victim’s car after realising it had been reported stolen, but coerced the victim into allowing him to use the campervan and take his family for a holiday.

Police located the campervan the next day near Gage’s residence and the victim was able to get his stolen vehicles back in the following weeks.

Howells’ counsel, Andrew Dawson, said his client was focused on the future and had stopped associating with his co-offenders.

Though Howells had a serious offending history, Judge Robinson acknowledged it was short and decreasing in frequency.

Howells was sentenced to nine months’ supervision and 200 hours’ community work.

Bindon had an “extremely sad” background and lacked positive role models in his life, counsel Anne Stevens QC said.

He was open to rehabilitation and acknowledged it was his choice of associates that led to the offending.

“You’ve been through hell. This has no doubt been a wake-up call. You are showing the right signs … You can do what needs to be done to change trajectory,” the judge said.

Judge Robinson sentenced Bindon to eight months’ imprisonment, but since he had already spent time in custody, he was due to be released imminently.

Gage also showed signs of having reached a turning point after going through some family tragedies while he was on remand, the court heard.

Counsel Cate Andersen said Gage wanted to prove himself after a long history of offending.

His background made for “stark reading”, a pathway to offending instilled in him since childhood, but he was now aiming to break the pattern of generational trauma, the judge said.

“The light bulb certainly seems to have come back on.”

Gage also faced charges of aggravated suspended driving and two of theft ($43,300).

On all matters, he was sentenced to 29 months’ imprisonment, ordered to pay $23,300 in reparation and disqualified from driving for two years.

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