A Kapiti man who assaulted his stepdaughter's rapist says the rapist "faked" suffering a brain injury in their fight.
The man was sentenced this week to 240 hours of community service for assaulting Jason Haward, who is serving a seven-year jail sentence for raping the man's 15-year-old stepdaughter at Paraparaumu on April 21 last year.
The man and his partner spotted Haward in the street two days later as they were driving home from a clinic where their daughter had been examined to prove that she had been raped.
He jumped out of the car and tried to hold Haward down, and the two men got into a fight until they were both restrained by onlookers.
The man, whose name was suppressed to protect his stepdaughter, told Larry Williams on Newstalk ZB last night that Haward kept "arguing and talking and totally conscious" for 20 minutes after the fight, and only claimed to have suffered a head injury when police arrived.
"I got out of the car and told him to stay there, we were ringing the police," the stepfather said.
"He refused to stay there. He said you got no right to hold me here and tried to walk off.
"I went to grab hold of him. He took a swing at me. We ended up in a little tussle, and a few people intervened very quickly.
"It wasn't really the big thing it was made out to be, it's just that the people on the scene, because he was already injured a couple of nights beforehand and already had bruises on his face, they just assumed that had happened right there and then."
He said Haward was not badly injured in the fight.
"What got me angry was the fact that he was all fine and dandy and still arguing and talking and totally conscious for 20 minutes until the police arrived," he told Williams.
"We were supposed to both be taken to the police station, then I would give them the reference number [for the rape] and as far as I knew he would be arrested and changed.
"That all changed because when I went down to the police station I believe he faked his symptoms because he didn't want to go to the police station."
Crown prosecutor Adele Garrick told the Wellington District Court that Haward suffered ongoing memory loss after the fight and asked for the man to get a two-year jail sentence.
"I acknowledge there wasn't surgery or a broken bone but there was an injury to the brain," she said.
Judge Peter Butler declined to sentence the stepfather to jail and found that Haward's injuries were "superficial".
"Your anger and outrage were understandable, as was your sense of frustration when you saw the victim walking freely in the street," Judge Butler told the stepfather.
The stepfather, who had asked for a discharge without conviction, told Larry Williams that he understood why he was sentenced to community work.
"Under the circumstances, I think the judge gave me as good a sentence as he was able to with comparable cases," he said.
However he has decided to appeal against the sentence with support from the Sensible Sentencing Trust.
In the original incident on April 21 last year, the stepfather heard his partner screaming for him and went outside to see his stepdaughter crouched naked beside a car with Haward "over the top of her grabbing at her".
Haward kept saying the girl had stolen his wallet, but could not explain why she was naked, the stepfather said.
He "lost the plot" and began punching Haward, and his partner then pushed Haward to the ground and kicked him in the head several times.
Haward's partner then came running down the street screaming, and said Haward had only gone out to get a bottle of wine.
The stepfather said that when the girl's mother told the woman Haward had raped her daughter, Haward's partner turned to Haward and said, "Oh you're back up to your old tricks are you c***?"
Police arrived and arrested Haward, but did not charge the stepfather with assault on that occasion.