Wife-basher sent to jail

By Sandra Conchie

A Te Puke man who brutally bashed his wife in a prolonged attack and punched his teenage daughter in the face when she tried to stop him has been jailed for two years four months.

Tehutana Xavier Oketopa, 33, who earlier pleaded guilty to charges of injuring with intent to injure, male assaults female and possession of cannabis, was sentenced in Tauranga District Court today.

The court was told that the brutal prolonged attack occurred on June 15 in the garage of the couple's Te Puke home which they shared with their seven children.

Oketopa repeatedly slapped and punched his wife and was banging her head against a concrete floor when two of their teenage children walked in.

When his 16-year-old daughter tried to pull him off her mother Oketopa punched her in the head knocking her to the ground, and also threw punches at his 15-year-old son, before again attacking his wife, and only stopped the assault after his mother-in-law intervened.

When asked how much force he had used during the attack, Oketopa told police "10 out of 10"

Judge Peter Rollo told Oketopa that he should be "completely ashamed" of himself and he had shown a complete lack of feeling towards his wife by trying to minimise his offending.

The judge said a prison sentence was entirely justified, particularly given Oketopa's past violence convictions which included an earlier conviction for assaulting his wife.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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