Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Christmas Cheer Absent From PM's DPS Detail At Green Parrot

Christmas Cheer In Short Supply From PM's Security Detail At Green Parrot


Story by Mark Williams and Alastair Thompson

Two unemployed men who claim Prime Minister John Key agreed to "spring for" their meal at the famed political watering hole The Green Parrot on Monday night, instead found themselves arrested for theft, forcibly removed from the building and locked in jail.

The two men, Kent Boyd and Andre Jellema (who tell their story via Youtube video above), both unemployed, were enjoying what they describe as their one night out a year - for Christmas - when they encountered the PM and his Diplomatic Protection Squad officers in Wellington's Green Parrot café bar.

Mr Boyd and Mr Jellema say they decided that they would approach the DPS and ask if the PM would be willing to take a photo with them. Mr Boyd said he is a fan of John Key and voted for him at the last election.

The DPS declined (allegedly somewhat impolitely) but the men approached the PM directly and asked him instead.

He was much more obliging and they took this picture.


Boyd and Jellema with PM John Key

Several other restaurant patrons then also asked for pictures with the PM and he very obligingly agreed to do so.

According to Kent Boyd after this was all over the PM - who was sitting around 10 feet away from them - asked them what they did for jobs. At which point they told him they were unemployed.

"I told him that this was my special night out and then asked him if he would be willing to spring for our meal," Mr Boyd told Scoop.

According to Boyd the PM replied, "absolutely".

But when they said to the manager that the PM was picking up the tab for the meal, the manager disputed this and spoke to the security officers. Moments later Boyd and Jellema were grabbed had their arms pushed behind their backs and were taken outside to separate locations. The DPS officers who grabbed them then called in a further six uniformed police officers who arrested them for breach of their respective bail conditions. These require them to not be drunk in public - in the case of Boyd, or in the case of Jellema to not drink at all.

Boyd says that he offered to pay for the meal in the hope that he would then be let go but this was refused.

The two men then spent the night in the cells and when they appeared in court the following day found they had also been charged with theft for the $82 cost of their meal.

Mr Jellema confirmed that his bail conditions included not drinking alcohol and that he was therefore in breach, but Mr Boyd said that his bail conditions were that he was not drunk and had only had one consumed one beer while eating at the Green Parrot. Both expressed astonishment that they were then faced with theft charges related to the meal.

In the video passage below Boyd explains what he plans to do next.

Asked whether the PM could confirm or deny that he had agreed to"spring for" the two men's meals a spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said, "this is a matter for the police and we have no comment to make." ( UPDATE 5.10pm 21/12/12: "The PM was never asked to pay, nor did he offer to pay for these meals.")

The Police inspector in charge of the Diplomatic Protection Squad was similarly unwilling to comment on the incident saying initially that it was before the court and that he could therefore not comment on it, but then later that he didn't actually know whether the PM had agreed to "spring for " the meal or not.

Mr Boyd's lawyer Wellington Barrister Keith Jeffries says the incident smacks of a Dad's Army comedy sketch.

"On the basis of their story it was a massive over-reaction by the security detail, all they needed to do was ask John Key if he had agreed to pay for the meal or not. Then after Mr Boyd offered to pay for the meal they wouldn't let him do so, that seems unfair.

"I would describe it as an absolute comedy with the tragedy being that someone had to be detained in a cell over night for it."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Binoy Kampmark: The Maybe Mob And The Rushdie Attack
He has survived death threats and attempts on his life since February 1989. But Salman Rushdie’s luck just about ran out at the Chautauqua Institution, southwest of Buffalo in New York State. On August 12, at a venue historically celebrated for bringing education to all, the writer was stabbed incessantly by a fanatic who felt little sense of guilt or remorse. Hadi Matar only had eyes for Rushdie’s neck and abdomen. As a result of the attack, the author is likely to lose sight of one eye and possibly the use of an arm... More>>



Binoy Kampmark: A Looting Matter: Cambodia’s Stolen Antiquities

Cambodia has often featured in the Western imagination as a place of plunder and pilfering. Temples and artefacts of exquisite beauty have exercised the interest of adventurers and buccaneers who looted with almost kleptocratic tendency. In 1924, the French novelist and future statesman André Malraux, proved himself one of Europe’s greatest adventurers in making off with a ton of sacred stones from Angkor Wat... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Labour Leadership Speculation Premature And Facile
Speculation that the Prime Minister’s leadership of the Labour Party may be at risk because of this week’s adverse poll results is as exaggerated as it is premature and facile. While her popularity has plummeted from the artificially stellar heights of a couple of years ago and is probably set to fall further to what would be a more realistic assessment... More>>



Ian Powell: Colossal ‘Porkies’ And Band-aids Don’t Make A Health Workforce Plan

On 1 August Minister of Health Andrew Little announced what he described as the start of a plan for the beleaguered workforce in Aotearoa New Zealand’s health system: Government’s 5 year late health workforce announcement. In October 2017, when Labour became government with its two coalition parties, it inherited a health workforce crisis from the previous National-led government... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: The Fuss About Monkeypox
The World Health Organization has been one of the easier bodies to abuse. For parochial types, populist moaners and critics of international institutions, the WHO bore the brunt of criticisms from Donald Trump to Jair Bolsonaro. Being a key institution in identifying public health risks, it took time assessing the threat posed by SARS-CoV-2 and its disease, COVID-19... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Time For MPs To Think For Themselves
One of the more frequently quoted statements of the Irish statesman and philosopher, Edmund Burke, was his observation that “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgement, and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”... More>>