Man Charged With Receiving Stolen Food Says Police Have Wrong Man

Posted by Gold FM on 02/02/2012

waihi memorial hall

Nicholas Porau says Police have the "wrong man" after he was arrested and charged with receiving stolen goods from the funeral of beloved Waihi woman Shirley Spurr. The 40 year old told waiting reporters outside the Hamilton Court House yesterday that he was trying to return it when he was found with a cane basket of food worth $50.

"I'm not guilty, definitely not," he said, adding he'd heard that the food had gone missing from the Waihi Memorial Hall where the kai hakari (feast) was to be held and was tipped off to where the food might be, so he set out to go and look for it. He also said that Shirley Spurr was his aunty and he respected her greatly.

The other man who appeared in the Hamilton District Court yesterday was 17 year old Horace Hone Rolleston. He was arrested on Tuesday in relation to the theft of $1500 worth of food.

A 14 and 12 year old boy were also apprehended and have been referred to Youth Aid.

The food taken was valued at $1500 and included 650 savouries, 30 litres of orange juice, coffee, cakes and quiches.

Mark Kennet from the PumpHouse Cafe was catering for Mrs Spurr's funeral with his mother, Jacqui Hutchinson and discovered the theft of the food from the Waihi Memorial Hall at about 7 am on Tuesday morning.

Gold FM heard the news from Waihi Police Senior Sergeant Rex Knight who arrived at our studios just after he'd been told about the theft and the information was able to be included in our weekly on air Police File report and broadcast regularly from then on.

Offers of food and help soon came in and the generosity of Waihi people who wanted to help in any way they could meant Shirley's funeral went ahead with plenty of food for everyone who attended. And, there was plenty left over for the Spurr family to distribute food to the needy.