‘Sandwich Gang’ boss Jamie Pink jailed for axe attack in Ngāruawahia

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A jury had found Jamie Pink guilty of wielding an axe against a fellow Tribal Huk in August 2018.

Christel Yardley/Stuff

A jury had found Jamie Pink guilty of wielding an axe against a fellow Tribal Huk in August 2018.

An axe attack has sent the leader of the Waikato’s sandwich gang to jail, signalling the end of the group’s provision of school lunches to needy children.

Long-term Tribal Huk leader Allan James Pink – better known as Jamie Pink – was jailed for seven years and four months for the roadside attack on former sergeant at arms Zion Coker.

Supporters of Pink, 49, packed the public gallery in Hamilton District Court on Monday afternoon.

They listened intently as Judge Robert Spear sent Pink to jail, and thumped their chests and raised their arms as he was led out of the courtroom.

The attack on Coker happened on August 8, 2018, on what was then State Highway 1, running through Ngāruawāhia.

Pink used the blunt edge of a log-splitting axe to attack Coker’s legs, the court heard.

Pink stood trial and, in September, a jury found him guilty of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The charge comes with a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail.

It was concerning that Pink felt able to “carry out such a brazen attack” in broad daylight, on the roadside, and in a small community such as Ngāruawāhia, Judge Spear said.

“No doubt believing that no-one would have the will to give evidence against you. That can’t be allowed to go unchecked.”

”Clearly it was your intention to maim this man as best you could without causing risk to his life.”

However, he acknowledged Pink was “a rather curious mixture of a person” who had also done good in his community.

That included the gang, under his leadership, serving lunches to about 1000 school children a day at the height of operations.

”Sadly, because of your offending and the fact that you will be incarcerated, that programme will come to an end.”

The Tribal Huk became internationally renowned as “the Sandwich Gang”, because they were making and delivering sandwiches to socially deprived children at schools in the region.

Pink has also made headlines for his attempts to rid Ngāruawāhia of methamphetamine, a campaign that led to his Ford Explorer coming under gunfire during a confrontation on a rural road in 2016.

The Huks had also run a Christmas party for children, and given money to schools for drug education, Judge Spear said.

More soon.

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