New Zealand Police v Fifita 2019 NZDC 1964

Published 12 August 2019

Sentencing — airport bomb scare — breach of the Civil Aviation Act — Civil Aviation Act 1990 — reparation. The defendant appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to a charge of breaching the Civil Aviation Act. The defendant, while travelling from Tonga to Australia via New Zealand, logged onto the in-flight messaging app with the user name "Igotabomb" which was observed by a fellow passenger who alerted air crew. The aircraft was stopped, searches were conducted and significant delays and flight cancellations ensued. The Judge noted that the defendant, a 19 year old from Australia, would be immediately deported back to Australia and that there were limited sentencing options. The defendant had no prior convictions, so he was ordered to pay Air New Zealand reparations of $3000, as arranged with his family. Judgment Date: 10 January 2019.