Falakoa was arrested in July 2014 after a long car chase with police, during which time he fired shots from a sawn-off shotgun and endangered many lives, though no-one was hurt. A police dog eventually dragged him down as he tried to get away on foot.
It was the culmination of half a year’s criminal activity, including robbing one health club twice in the space of a few days, robbing an antique store, and being involved in a number of car chases with police.
It was his final dramatic chase though that had the judge, Charles Blackie, send down the most damning words, as he said: “It makes little difference from their (the witnesses) point of view what you were aiming at.
“Any shot in the direction of a person makes them think it’s destined to hit them.
“This type of offending – shooting out of vehicles during a police pursuit – is something I might have read about during Bonny-and-Clyde days. Fortunately it doesn’t happen much in New Zealand.”
Judge Blackie did take Falakoa’s background into account, as his lawyer explained that the man had left home at age 12, and was part of a the Tribesman gang during his impressionable teen years.
He will have to serve half of his 13 and a half years before he’s eligible for parole.