Head Hunters meth boss William 'Bird' Hines wins appeal against sentence length

A top Head Hunters gang member has had his prison sentence shortened because of his ill-health.

Meth boss William "Bird" Hines was found guilty for his leading role in manufacturing around one kilogram of methamphetamine in 2015.

During sentencing, the court heard how Hines has Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and end stage renal failure.

He was jailed for 18 years and six months in April last year and given a minimum non-parole period of eight years and four months.

However Hines appealed his sentence length, claiming the judge "gave insufficient consideration" to his health and "the degree of extra suffering that the condition would result in from a sentence of imprisonment".

"The judge failed to give consideration to section 8 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (NZBORA) which guarantees the right to life," Hines' appeal stated.

He also argued his conviction was unfair due to error on behalf of the judge.

On Friday, Court of Appeal Justice Rebecca Ellis released her decision, agreeing Hines should be given less jail time because of his ill-health and life expectancy.

"On the basis of the (somewhat limited) medical information before us it seems that the chances of him completing the minimum period seem far from good," she noted.

"And while, on the evidence, it seems Mr Hines' medical conditions are managed adequately in prison, it cannot be said that the care he receives is equivalent to that which he received in the community; the reduced frequency and duration of his dialysis treatment speaks for itself."

However his bid to overturn his conviction was turned down.

Hine's sentence was reduced to 17 years, and his minimum period of imprisonment was quashed.


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