After settling on a young Reefton woman as their target, five teenage girls drove 80km to ambush and attack their unsuspecting victim outside her home, a court has heard.
Four of the girls had been dealt with in the Greymouth Youth Court but, because Kayla Rose McLean had since turned 17, her case was bumped up to the District Court yesterday.
The complainant had clumps of her hair torn out and suffered a broken nose, extensive bruising to the head and face, and two black eyes in what Judge Paul Kellar described as a "nasty, cowardly assault on a very vulnerable victim".
McLean admitted being a party to a charge of assault with intent to injure, but the judge said her input was just as bad as the principal offenders.
The court heard that McLean and friends had been drinking in Greymouth on September 17, when they got into a vehicle and one of the others suggested that it would be fun to beat someone up. After choosing their victim they drove to Reefton and staked out the complainant's place of work, waiting beside her car for her to come out.
When she failed to appear they drove to the victim's house, hiding in bushes and waiting for her to come home.
When she pulled up in the car two of the assailants reached into the car and grabbed her by the hair, ripping out clumps before McLean joined in, punching her in the face and helping drag her from the car so the others could continue the assault.
Judge Kellar said it was concerning that the attack had a high degree of planning and premeditation. McLean had since expressed remorse for the position that she had found herself in, but not for the attack.
"People routinely go to prison for this type of offending," the judge said in warning McLean that she had only stayed in the community because of a lack of prior offending.
McLean was sentenced to six months' supervision, 160 hours' community work and was ordered to pay a $200 emotional harm payment, which matched what the other girls had been ordered to pay in the Youth Court.