A West Coast man who went to earthquake-hit Christchurch and joined the urban search and rescue effort there has been remanded in custody for a month after being charged with falsely representing himself as a rescue team member.
Police were concerned that the man’s lack of training or credentials could put members of the public and other search and rescue staff at risk, Christchurch Court News website reported.
The man, Jason Henry Bevington, was also charged with possession of offensivassuming the e weapons after knives, a baton, and an axe were found in his car.
Mr Bevington has not been found guilty yet of anything, but assuming the arrest was warranted, then it makes you wonder about this story from 2010:
As anger starts to mount on the West Coast a Blackball couple believe their house may have been trashed because they work for Pike River Coal.
Jason Bevington and Jude Washington discovered thousands of dollars worth of damage to their home soon after finding out Jude had been made redundant.
Bevington and Washington say they do not know who is responsible, but believe they may have been targeted because they work for Pike River – the company whose mine claimed the lives of 29 men in November. …
“What we’re concerned about is that this could be target…two people working at Pike, it could be. [We] don’t know,” Bevington said.
Washington said they came home to the mess after a “really awful day” and they did have reasons for their suspicions.
She claimed the company itself was targeted in the days following the initial explosion.
“Very early on we started receiving emails from frustrated people – nobody in particular they wouldn’t sign their names – saying “you murdered these people, you shouldn’t have done this, you should’ve done that, you’re taking time… You should rot in Hell”,” she said.
However, Pike River has denied receiving any threatening emails, and while the union admits tensions are running high, Greg O’Connell from the EPMU said he did not think workers who had lost their jobs would be responsible.
I wonder if the Police ever worked out who trashed their house?
UPDATE 22 April 2011: This thread is now closed.