Sons saw mum hit with guitar in spree

By Corey Charlton

Two children aged 6 and 10 watched in tears as a man smashed a guitar over their mother's head in a drunken crime spree that ended only when he was tasered by police.

Matthew Hemi Timu, 36, was sentenced in the Hastings District Court yesterday for a September 14 spree he could barely remember, triggered during a drinking session at his home.

About noon that day a dispute broke out and he attacked his partner, kicking and punching her, hitting her with a guitar and throwing a chair and a vacuum cleaner at her. While this happened the victim's two boys were watching and crying and telling Timu to stop hitting their mother.

He then stole her car and began driving towards Hastings. A police pursuit began on Longlands Rd. Timu stopped, jumped out, threatened the officer and punched the police car window. When he attempted to drive away again, he was pepper-sprayed, to no effect.

He took off again, ramming the police vehicle, and tore through the T-intersection on Mangaroa Rd and State Highway 50A, causing other motorists to collide. His own vehicle rolled, ending up on its side.

He got out of the vehicle by smashing the sunroof with a broom, while calling abuse to police. Police warned him twice before tasering him.

Judge Geoff Rea called the circumstances of the offending "disgraceful".

While a letter written by Timu's partner in support of him gave Judge Rea "some hope that there may be a future" for the two, the letter written by Timu himself was viewed with scepticism.

"This is a warning issued for you today, Mr Timu, either you make the grade or you don't," he said. "It's all down to you now, we'll see whether the talk you have got in your letter can be matched by action when you get out."

Timu was disqualified indefinitely from driving and was imprisoned for one year and nine months by Judge Rea, receiving a discount for the guilty pleas.

His breath alcohol reading that day was 656mg.

It was his sixth conviction for drink-driving, and he faced 12 charges relating to the incident, to which he pleaded guilty.

Included in the charges was a raft of driving offences, assaulting and resisting police and three breaches of a protection order (previously placed to protect the victim from Timu). She was in court to support Timu during sentencing.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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