Community work after beating

By Kaysha Brownlie

2 comments

A man has been sentenced to 150 hours' community work for beating up an old school friend, who he had opened his home to, after walking in on him allegedly sexually abusing his 7-year-old daughter.

Judge Geoff Rea said yesterday the case had been a difficult one to deal with for all involved.

The defendant, who was granted permanent name suppression, in June entered a guilty plea to one charge of injuring with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The man's lawyer Eric Forster said it was "a very unusual case" with his client having walked in on what he thought was something inappropriate being done to his young daughter by the complainant in this matter.

"In some ways his actions stopped what was happening."

He said it was a "very unusual factual matrix".

Before sentencing the defendant the judge said there would be some that would understand completely the reaction in this case.

"I've had a lot of help here from the lawyers, it's been a very difficult case for them as well."

The judge told the court the complainant, who has interim name suppression, had been friends with the defendant for several years, the duo had attended school together.

The defendant had helped the complainant by allowing him to live at his home along with his partner and three children, at intermittent times over the years.

In September last year the complainant was staying in the garage and would venture into the house to use the facilities.

Late one night, the defendant walked in on the complainant - his house guest - coming out from underneath a blanket that was covering his 7-year-old daughter who was sitting on the couch with her 8-year-old brother playing Xbox.

"The complainant was on all fours on the ground." He was directly in front of her. lifting the blanket with his hands he had just come out from under.

When the defendant asked the complainant what he was doing, he said "nothing".

Lifting the blanket off his daughter he discovered her underwear down around her ankles.

"She was naked from the waist down," the summary states.

It was then the defendant launched at his friend, kicking him to his head and body before stopping to put steel cap boots on, and then continuing the attack.

He grabbed a knife and a crow bar, but did not use them.

He swore and accused the complainant of inappropriately touching his daughter.

The defendant's partner came to take the children away, at which time the attack stopped and the complainant was ordered to leave.

But the defendant followed the complainant out to the garage where he went to collect his belongings and started kicking him again. The complainant fell over on to some tools hitting his head on a fridge, causing bruising and swelling to his face, sore ribs and a fractured jaw which required hospital treatment.

The defendant told police he was enraged as he believed the complainant was inappropriately "touching" his daughter, "his reaction was that of any father who had witnessed what he had", the summary states.

The complainant's name was suppressed on an interim basis because he now faces a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection after a parallel investigation was launched from this incident. DNA analysis confirmed probable involvement of the complainant.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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