Hastings gang member guilty of stabbing

A Hastings man faces up to 14 years in jail for causing an injury which cost his children's mother one of her eyes, on the 5th anniversary of a similar attack on another teenaged woman.

A High Court jury in Napier yesterday found Sio Muliipu, 24, guilty of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, accepting Crown claims that he stabbed her in the eye while detaining her in a barricaded bedroom after kidnapping her from another house on the night of December 5 last year.

Among numerous previous sentences, Muliipu was in 2007 sentenced to a year's jail for an attack on December 5 the previous year in which he punched and kicked a 19-year-old woman, stomped on her head and smashed her head further with a stereo speaker and a wooden stool.

Other offences have been assaults on prison officers, and last year he was involved in a rooftop protest at Hawke's Bay Prison.

The latest wounding charge is the most serious of the charges he has faced, carrying a maximum sentence of 14 years.

The jury also found him guilty of kidnapping and unlawfully detaining the woman who had borne his twins just over three months earlier, and assaulting her with intent to injure.

He had denied the charges at the start of the trial on Monday, when he did, however, admit injuring the woman with intent to injure.

The jury of six men and six women yesterday also found him guilty of assaulting her using a vacuum cleaner as a weapon and assaulting her with intent to injure in another episode on November 23.

He was acquitted on a charge of unlawfully entering the house from which she was illegally taken, while Justice David Collins freed older brother Time Finai Muliipu, aged 26 and not a gang member, who was found not guilty on a charge of being a party to the kidnapping.

Sio Muliipu, his face covered with the branding of the Mongrel Mob, of which he is a patched member, had claimed the woman's eye injury happened when he was throwing toys at her.

Police Hastings Family Violence team leader and case officer-in-charge Detective Sergeant Darren Prichard was pleased with the verdicts, and commented: "This was domestic violence at its worst."

Muliipu was remanded in custody for sentencing on December 21.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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