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Six years' jail and three strikes warning over kidnap

By Imran Ali


Violence on his former partner, who became so terrified she jumped out of a speeding truck, has landed Dargaville man Rapata Tipene in jail for six years.

Tipene's presumption that the woman was sexually attracted to another man they had been drinking with prompted the attacks that left her with severe injuries.

Tipene, 43, was found guilty by a jury on charges of kidnapping, wounding with reckless disregard, threatening to kill and intentional damage.

He appeared for sentencing in the Whangarei District Court.

"Our society is bedevilled with domestic violence. We are killing each other every year," Judge Duncan Harvey said.

Tipene had been in an on-again, off-again relationship with the woman and they were not living together when the violence took place in May 2011, Judge Harvey said.

Tipene asked her to come over and spend a weekend with him, despite his father and her whanau being against the idea.

Judge Harvey said on the Monday she wanted to go home but Tipene persuaded her to attend a function.

After the function, while drinking at the other man's home, Tipene somehow got it in his head that his former partner was attracted to the man. He then deliberately drove his truck into a vehicle driven by the man, who was driving the woman to where her vehicle was parked.

Tipene then dragged her by the hair into his own truck and said he would take her to the beach. He attempted to strangle her at one stage.

Judge Harvey said she jumped from the speeding truck and suffered terrible injuries, but Tipene put her back into the vehicle and took her to the beach. He later drove her to the Dargaville Hospital, but prevented her from talking to anybody.

The judge said she spent 36 days in hospital because of the physical injuries, from which she may never be able to recover. She suffered a severe gash on an ankle, a fracture to her right shoulder, bruises on her body, and her heel was hanging off, .

Crown prosecutor Moana Jarman-Taylor submitted the court should impose a minimum non-parole period due to the level of violence and the extent of injuries she suffered.

Judge Harvey sentenced Tipene to six years on the lead charge of kidnapping, with a minimum non-parole of three years. He said unless Tipene addressed his anger, violence and alcohol problems, he'd continue to be a danger.

Tipene was also given a three-strikes warning.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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