Mob member jailed after carjacking Tauranga couple

David Body appears in the Rotorua District Court. Photo / Andrew Warner.

Mongrel Mob member on a methamphetamine-fuelled crime spree carjacked an “elderly” couple and sat on top of the female driver while speeding away from police, a court has heard.

Police chasing David John Rawiri Body near Taupō heard the woman screaming as the heavily tattooed gang member pinned her to her seat and drove off in the Tauranga couple’s Toyota Yaris, her “terrified” husband in the front passenger seat.

Earlier in the chase, Body rammed a police car and tried to carjack another elderly couple’s car while brandishing a shotgun.

Details of the 2021 ordeal were revealed in the Rotorua District Court on Friday as Judge Tony Snell sentenced Body to seven years and 11 months in jail on nine charges.

Body, 35, who holds the senior ranking in the Mongrel Mob as sergeant at arms and has about 100 prior convictions, was on parole at the time of the offending and had cut off his electronically monitored ankle bracelet.

’Extremely dangerous’

On October 27, 2021, Body drove a car between Te Kūiti and Taumarunui with two women inside, Judge Snell said. Body drove dangerously at speeds of up to 160km/h.

The following day, Body was driving towards Taupō on State Highway 1 in a stolen Hyundai vehicle with a woman inside.

Judge Snell said when police pulled Body over, he rammed the patrol car, buckling the bonnet.

Police tried to chase Body between Tūrangi and Taupō but abandoned the pursuit because of his dangerous driving and speeding.

Further up the road, police spiked his front tyres and a second police car took up the chase but Body kept fleeing, driving on the rims.

“That driving was extremely dangerous to members of the public who were coming the other way,” Judge Snell said.

Elderly motorists ‘feared for their lives’

Motorists in an oncoming car spotted Body’s vehicle on their side of the road and slowed down. Body continued in the wrong lane and both vehicles stopped.

Body got out of his car and raised a pump-action shotgun at the elderly couple.

“Those occupants feared for their lives. Thinking they were going to be shot they ducked down behind the dashboard and the female driver managed to accelerate away heavily in fear. They managed to evade you and drove off,” Judge Snell said.

During the stop, the woman in Body’s car tried to escape and hid in nearby bushes, but he spotted her and ordered her back into the car.

Body drove the Hyundai on its rims a short distance before halting again at another stopped car, a Toyota Yaris driven by a couple in their 70s from Tauranga.

Judge Snell said a police officer pulled up and ran towards Body, who was approaching the “elderly” couple’s car.

“You got in on top of the female driver and began to drive her car. The officer who almost caught up could hear her screaming as the car disappeared with you sitting on top of her driving and her husband in the passenger seat.

“She was pinned into the seat by your body sitting on her. She described your weight on top of her in that small space as crushing and that she was struggling to breathe.”

Judge Snell said Body headed south on State Highway 1 and drove at oncoming police, who took evasive action to avoid a collision.

The man in the passenger seat tried to grab the steering wheel as his wife, still under Body, tried to pull up the hand brake. Snell said Body yelled at them to stop and threatened to drive into an oncoming logging truck if the man did not let go.

“He was terrified you would carry out that threat.”

Body eventually stopped to let them out the passenger door but drove off before the woman was fully out and injured her foot.

How he was caught

He continued towards Tūrangi but did a u-turn back towards Taupō when he saw more police road spikes ahead.

He turned down a forestry road, ditched the car and ran into the forest. Police sent the Armed Offenders’ Squad and a police dog eventually found him hiding in scrub.

The conspiring to pervert the course of justice charge related to Body’s making three calls from prison trying to get people “on the outside” to intervene with complainants relating to his trial in May, Judge Snell said.

The sentence

Body pleaded guilty to charges of robbery, aggravated assault, failing to stop for police, two counts of dangerous driving, unlawful possession of a firearm and presenting a prohibited firearm at a person. He was found guilty at a trial in May of dangerous driving and conspiring to pervert the cause of justice.

At sentencing on Friday, Judge Snell recognised Body had written a letter of remorse but noted he needed to “walk the talk” if he was truly remorseful. He said that was unlikely to happen while Body remained in the Mongrel Mob.

He said the woman Body sat on had bruising over her body for several weeks and was on crutches for days.

“No one deserves that to happen to them given they were innocent members of the public in their 70s simply driving on our State Highway 1.”

Judge Snell said Body attributed his offending to methamphetamine use. He accepted what he did was wrong and he was in breach of his parole conditions by being in prohibited areas of Taupō, Te Kūiti and Taumarunui.

Judge Snell said Body had about 100 previous convictions that filled 13 pages. A pre-sentence report found a high likelihood of reoffending.

Body was sentenced to seven years and 11 months in jail and disqualified from driving for two years.

Judge Snell said he was already eligible to apply for parole, having been in custody since his 2021 arrest.

-Rotorua Daily Post.


It's Nothing At All

Posted on 25-06-2024 10:10 | By Yadick

That sentence is nothing at all. A tap on the wrist like that means absolutely nothing to these gangs. He knows he's going to, and expects to rule the roost in prison. That poor elderly couple will probably go to their graves reliving and reliving the entire ordeal and nightmare of this thug.
Over 100 previous convictions and this is all he gets AND is eligible to apply for parole so could quite happily be home before Christmas.
No wonder so much criminal behavior is so out of control in New Zealand. The Police are busting their ar$e to bring offenders in and the Judges are just laughing in everyone's face.

What a joke….

Posted on 25-06-2024 11:46 | By Shadow1

…our courts are, he has already been in jail on remand for three years.
The only way to protect New Zealanders from violent people like this man is to keep him locked up. We all know that “letters of remorse’ and apologies are totally insincere, they have lawyers who dictate these things for them.
It’s pointless offering discounts for their upbringing and drug dependence. They should serve the full sentence without parole and the Justice Department should be able to extend the length of the sentence if they don’t show any improvement.
I’m quite sure that we need a specific jail for criminals who have been convicted of violent crimes, murder and/or production of or supply of illegal drugs, the cause of much violence.


Posted on 25-06-2024 13:46 | By Come on TCC!

What a joke!
This sentence is disgusting, and he is eligible for parole already? LOL

Getting tough?

Posted on 25-06-2024 16:39 | By OG-2024

wow, ALLREADY eligible to apply for parole...
So the " justice system" is soo backlogged that at sentencing an offender is able to apply for parole....
Didn't this new government say something about getting tough on crime and gangs?
C'mon Hon S Brown - as the seemingly only minister of the govt and apparent mouthpiece... JUST WHAT ARE you lot doing about this rubbish??!!!

What an absolutely pathetic

Posted on 25-06-2024 17:01 | By earlybird

Justice in NZ serves the crims NOT the victims. Disgusting. Hardly surprising that our Police are moving to Oz.

No more mercy

Posted on 29-06-2024 09:51 | By olemanriver

There is a time that mercy is not justifiable. This man should spend time then spend more time in an indefinite rehab lockup until professionals consider him no more danger to the public. Otherwise innocents will likely be killed.

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