Air Force member assaulted during visit

An Air Force member was assaulted by men he recognised from his schooldays. Photo / File
An Air Force member was assaulted by men he recognised from his schooldays. Photo / File

An Auckland man's nostalgic return to Hokitika ended with him lying unconscious on a street after he was violently attacked by two brothers, a Greymouth District Court jury has been told.

David Ngareta Haika, 24 and Jay William Haika 21, are defending a charge of assaulting James Stuart with intent to injure on June 5, 2011.

Both men admitted common assault charges relating to James Stuart and Matthew Jenkins.

The court was told Mr Stuart, now a member of the NZ Air Force, had grown up in Hokitika but had been away for 10 years before visiting in June 2011.

He was socialising with friends when a former schoolmate accused Mr Stuart of inappropriate action when Mr Stuart was aged 5 and the other man aged 3.

He was punched in the face during the conversation and the other man was arrested.

On his release from the cells that assailant told the Haikas of his allegation and they later took up his cause.

Mr Stuart was walking along Weld Street when he heard someone call his name. Looking back he recognised David Haika from his schooldays.

He stopped for a chat but was instead punched in the head by both men and eventually knocked unconscious.

He suffered a fractured eye socket and severe facial bruising and cuts to his face that required stitching. The crown is calling 10 witnesses including one who alleges that the Haikas kneed and kicked the complainant as he was on the ground.

The trial continues.

- The Greymouth Star

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