Friday, April 4, 2008

Eliminate the negative

Pastor's sons jailed for 'vigilante' attack

Three sons of a Murupara church minister have been jailed for a "vigilante" attack on a man they wrongly accused of raping their sister.

Vincent, 29, Blaize, 27, and Trinity Akuhata, 20, appeared in Rotorua District Court yesterday for sentencing on charges of injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to Delmar Coates on June 10 last year.

The three had pleaded guilty and were each jailed for three years. They are sons of Murupara Elim Church pastor Te Ta'ahe Akuhata.

Outside the court, Pastor Akuhata said the family were extremely sorry for the actions of his sons.

Attempts had been made to meet Mr Coates, a distant nephew, for a restorative justice meeting but he had refused.

"We have been hoping and praying for reconciliation from the victim to meet us but he does not want to."

Pastor Akuhata said the family did not support what had happened.

"At the end of the day it is the families of the men who will suffer."

He said he would continue to pray for his sons while they were in prison.

The court was told the three men had been to a party and the next morning were told by their sister that she had been raped.

They went back to the address of the party and were told Mr Coates was the person involved.

The three men forced their way into Mr Coates' house in Murupara and beat him around the head and body with a baseball bat, in front of his partner and 18-month-old son.

Mr Coates' partner was hit on the arm when she went to grab her son, who walked in on the beating.

They later found out Mr Coates was innocent of the claim.

All three men took full responsibility for the attack despite Trinity being the only one of the group to hit Mr Coates with the bat.

Mr Coates was in hospital for two days with a broken nose, rib fractures and bruised kidney.

Lawyers Mo Dorset, for Blaize Akuhata, and Jonathon Briscoe, for Vincent and Trinity Akuhata, gave oral and written submissions for home detention.

The maximum sentence for the offence is 10 years' imprisonment.

In sentencing, Judge Jocelyn Munro said the three men had realised their mistake soon after the attack and were remorseful.

They were all employed fulltime, had families and had no previous convictions.

However, Judge Munro said the men were intoxicated and had "made a compulsive decision blinded by rage to hurt Mr Coates".

"It was a vigilante-type attack where the men took the law into their own hands for revenge."

The attack was premeditated, and "completely and utterly unprovoked", she said, and those aggravating factors meant home detention could not be considered.


1 comment:

Flattie said...

Thats a change.....

Gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc - We gladly feast on those who would subdue us ...