District Court News

A man who admitted hitting his stepson with a hammer was sentenced to 75 hours community work and nine months supervision.

Jeremiah Haronga, 60, pleaded guilty in Gisborne District Court to assault with a blunt instrument.

Haronga was using it to fix a window in a house occupied by the mother of the 30-year-old complainant, when an argument between the two men escalated.

Judge Roberts noted Haronga’s previous relevant convictions but credited him for having attended 15 anger management counselling sessions since January this year.

The hammer will be destroyed.

With no previous history of violence, a young man assaulted his mother in Porirua last December, the court was told.

James Patrick Keenan pleaded guilty to assault with intent to injure.

Judge Allen Roberts sentenced him to 12 months supervision and 50 hours community work.

The court was told Keenan was asleep when his mother went to his house to photograph a light fitting. Taking exception to being disturbed, Keenan chased her downstairs, grabbed her by the hair and dragged her outside. He punched her in the back of the head and two or three times in the face.

The woman suffered a gash to the top of her head.

On arriving in Gisborne, Keenan told his father he had done a terrible thing. His father said he had not previously known his son to be violent.

Keenan told the writer of a pre-sentence report he was embarrassed and ashamed, and had considered writing his mother an apology letter. Judge Roberts said he was disappointed that had not yet eventuated.

Judge Roberts noted Keenan had good qualities and had been dux of his college.

Counsel Leighvi Maynard opposed the community work recommendation but Judge Roberts said Corrections would find a suitable agency placement.

James Thomas Hohepa, 40, pleaded guilty to resisting police, assaulting a woman, and breaching a protection order. He was remanded on bail for a report and sentence on July 5.

Ricky James Trevor Nepe, 27, changed a not guilty plea and admitted breaching a protection order. He was remanded on bail for a report and sentence on July 5.

Lucky Tumata Campbell pleaded guilty to a charge of assault after it was reduced from injuring with intent to injure. He was remanded on bail for a report and sentence on July 3.

Included in that sentencing will be other charges to which Campbell has already pleaded guilty — wilful damage, possession of an offensive weapon, threatening behaviour and a breach of bail.

His partner locked him out of the bedroom and a man barged the door down, the court was told.

Paaka Malachi Babbington, 21, horticultural worker, pleaded guilty to assault with intent to injure and wilful damage. He was sentenced to nine months supervision and 125 hours community work.

The charges related to an early morning incident between Babbington and his partner. Babbington’s use of force on the door caused it to split and broke the lock.

As the woman moved her car so Babbington could get his out to go to work, he kicked dents in some of her vehicle doors.

She tried to call police and he smashed the screen on her phone, saying “try ringing the cops now”.

She turned her attention to her son but, as she did so, Babbington wrapped his arm around her from behind and compromised her breathing. He dragged her around a room.

She went to her bedroom with the boy but Babbington followed and flipped the bed, causing her and her son to fall on the floor.

Counsel Ann-Jolena Baker said it was Babbington’s first significant relationship with a partner who was older and worldlier, and had a child. Babbington did not have the personal skills to manage conflict and incidents that occurred.

The court heard two previous charges involved the same complainant and there were further charges pending involving her.

Judge Roberts noted Babbington was one of many men who in these situations sought to damage or wreck their partner’s property.

Albert Tipu Atkins, 33, shearer, pleaded guilty to three breaches of release conditions — by being in Gisborne and having contact with a female complainant on charges for which he was previously imprisoned.

He also admitted a shoplifting offence and wilful damage of a cellphone.

Judge Roberts imposed nine months imprisonment — most of which Atkins had already served while on remand in custody.

Judge Roberts said he would not impose further release conditions. It would likely only set Atkins up to fail, as he would undoubtedly gravitate back to the woman involved.

Atkins began defaulting on his release conditions about four months after being released from prison last August (after serving two years, four months, for offences of obstructing justice, resisting police, assaulting a woman and shoplifting.)

Judge Roberts said he did not understand why Atkins would not wish to engage with Corrections. He failed to realise they were there to assist him with his life outside prison and to reduce conflict, particularly with one person.

Counsel William Zhang said it was to Atkins’s credit he returned the sunglasses he stole and had replaced the phone he damaged with a more expensive one.

For a seventh-time drink-drive while subject to a zero-alcohol licence, Daniel Mathew Grant, 34, was sentenced to 180 hours community work, four months community detention, and disqualified from driving for 12 months and one day.

At the end of the disqualification period, Grant will have to apply for another zero-alcohol licence.

Judge Roberts gave Grant a final warning and told him were it not for his counsel Holly Tunstall’s submissions, he would have been jailed for seven and a half months.

Lawrence Glen Atkins aka Tekira, 44, stevedore, admitted drink-driving (616mcg) for a third or subsequent time and while subject to a zero-alcohol licence.

It was his sixth drink-drive offence in 26 years — the most recent in 2014.

Judge Roberts imposed four months home detention, 160 hours community work, and further disqualified Atkins from driving for a year and a day.

He will be subject again to a zero-alcohol licence after the disqualification ends.

A man who admitted hitting his stepson with a hammer was sentenced to 75 hours community work and nine months supervision.

Jeremiah Haronga, 60, pleaded guilty in Gisborne District Court to assault with a blunt instrument.

Haronga was using it to fix a window in a house occupied by the mother of the 30-year-old complainant, when an argument between the two men escalated.

Judge Roberts noted Haronga’s previous relevant convictions but credited him for having attended 15 anger management counselling sessions since January this year.

The hammer will be destroyed.

With no previous history of violence, a young man assaulted his mother in Porirua last December, the court was told.

James Patrick Keenan pleaded guilty to assault with intent to injure.

Judge Allen Roberts sentenced him to 12 months supervision and 50 hours community work.

The court was told Keenan was asleep when his mother went to his house to photograph a light fitting. Taking exception to being disturbed, Keenan chased her downstairs, grabbed her by the hair and dragged her outside. He punched her in the back of the head and two or three times in the face.

The woman suffered a gash to the top of her head.

On arriving in Gisborne, Keenan told his father he had done a terrible thing. His father said he had not previously known his son to be violent.

Keenan told the writer of a pre-sentence report he was embarrassed and ashamed, and had considered writing his mother an apology letter. Judge Roberts said he was disappointed that had not yet eventuated.

Judge Roberts noted Keenan had good qualities and had been dux of his college.

Counsel Leighvi Maynard opposed the community work recommendation but Judge Roberts said Corrections would find a suitable agency placement.

James Thomas Hohepa, 40, pleaded guilty to resisting police, assaulting a woman, and breaching a protection order. He was remanded on bail for a report and sentence on July 5.

Ricky James Trevor Nepe, 27, changed a not guilty plea and admitted breaching a protection order. He was remanded on bail for a report and sentence on July 5.

Lucky Tumata Campbell pleaded guilty to a charge of assault after it was reduced from injuring with intent to injure. He was remanded on bail for a report and sentence on July 3.

Included in that sentencing will be other charges to which Campbell has already pleaded guilty — wilful damage, possession of an offensive weapon, threatening behaviour and a breach of bail.

His partner locked him out of the bedroom and a man barged the door down, the court was told.

Paaka Malachi Babbington, 21, horticultural worker, pleaded guilty to assault with intent to injure and wilful damage. He was sentenced to nine months supervision and 125 hours community work.

The charges related to an early morning incident between Babbington and his partner. Babbington’s use of force on the door caused it to split and broke the lock.

As the woman moved her car so Babbington could get his out to go to work, he kicked dents in some of her vehicle doors.

She tried to call police and he smashed the screen on her phone, saying “try ringing the cops now”.

She turned her attention to her son but, as she did so, Babbington wrapped his arm around her from behind and compromised her breathing. He dragged her around a room.

She went to her bedroom with the boy but Babbington followed and flipped the bed, causing her and her son to fall on the floor.

Counsel Ann-Jolena Baker said it was Babbington’s first significant relationship with a partner who was older and worldlier, and had a child. Babbington did not have the personal skills to manage conflict and incidents that occurred.

The court heard two previous charges involved the same complainant and there were further charges pending involving her.

Judge Roberts noted Babbington was one of many men who in these situations sought to damage or wreck their partner’s property.

Albert Tipu Atkins, 33, shearer, pleaded guilty to three breaches of release conditions — by being in Gisborne and having contact with a female complainant on charges for which he was previously imprisoned.

He also admitted a shoplifting offence and wilful damage of a cellphone.

Judge Roberts imposed nine months imprisonment — most of which Atkins had already served while on remand in custody.

Judge Roberts said he would not impose further release conditions. It would likely only set Atkins up to fail, as he would undoubtedly gravitate back to the woman involved.

Atkins began defaulting on his release conditions about four months after being released from prison last August (after serving two years, four months, for offences of obstructing justice, resisting police, assaulting a woman and shoplifting.)

Judge Roberts said he did not understand why Atkins would not wish to engage with Corrections. He failed to realise they were there to assist him with his life outside prison and to reduce conflict, particularly with one person.

Counsel William Zhang said it was to Atkins’s credit he returned the sunglasses he stole and had replaced the phone he damaged with a more expensive one.

For a seventh-time drink-drive while subject to a zero-alcohol licence, Daniel Mathew Grant, 34, was sentenced to 180 hours community work, four months community detention, and disqualified from driving for 12 months and one day.

At the end of the disqualification period, Grant will have to apply for another zero-alcohol licence.

Judge Roberts gave Grant a final warning and told him were it not for his counsel Holly Tunstall’s submissions, he would have been jailed for seven and a half months.

Lawrence Glen Atkins aka Tekira, 44, stevedore, admitted drink-driving (616mcg) for a third or subsequent time and while subject to a zero-alcohol licence.

It was his sixth drink-drive offence in 26 years — the most recent in 2014.

Judge Roberts imposed four months home detention, 160 hours community work, and further disqualified Atkins from driving for a year and a day.

He will be subject again to a zero-alcohol licence after the disqualification ends.

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