Matthew Theunissen

Matthew Theunissen is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Victim just wants carjacker to 'be a better man'

Nikhat Ibnul told the Herald neither she nor 2-year-old Zuhaira has been able to sleep since she was carjacked by Temoananui. Photo / Natalie Slade
Nikhat Ibnul told the Herald neither she nor 2-year-old Zuhaira has been able to sleep since she was carjacked by Temoananui. Photo / Natalie Slade

A man who suffered huge financial loss as a result of a carjacker's methamphetamine-fuelled rampage doesn't want reparation, he just wants him to be a better man, a court has been told.

Tony Temoananui, 19, was sentenced to two and a half years' imprisonment when he appeared in Auckland District Court this morning.

He previously pleaded guilty to six charges including robbery, reckless driving causing injury and other driving charges.

Temoananui carjacked a woman and her young daughter during a 24km police chase through Auckland before slamming into a ute, writing it off and injuring the driver, Felix Birbeck.

The court was told Mr Birbeck, a landscaper, had spent $13,000 fitting out the vehicle for his business but was unable to claim that from insurance.

He also lost a months' wages as a result.

Mr Birbeck did not appear in court today - Judge Ema Aitken said he could not afford to take any more time off work - but parts of his victim impact statement were read out.

"You can't pay me back the money you have cost me, and believe me it is heaps, but I want to see you progress towards becoming a better man. That's how I want you to repay me," it said.

Mr Birbeck had made "an unambiguous statement of forgiveness".

The court was told that Temoananui had just been sentenced to five months' home detention for assaulting his ex-partner when he cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet and broke into a relative's car in Kaikohe, Northland.

He drove to Auckland to see the ex-partner in Manurewa, south Auckland, on September 15 last year.

According to the police summary of facts, the two got into an argument and police were called.

About 8.50am he drove off and was followed by police.

The chase was quickly abandoned because Temoananui was driving in a manner which Judge Aitken said "provided some of the worst set of facts that I have seen as a district court judge".

A police helicopter kept the vehicle in sight as it drove onto the South Western Motorway on the wrong side of the road and continued at speed.

He drove up an on-ramp in the wrong direction and then re-entered the motorway before exiting onto Hillsborough Rd and driving towards Lynfield, clipping other vehicles as he went.

Police laid spikes on the road, causing his left front tyre to deflate, and he hit a car at an intersection in Blockhouse Bay.

Nikhat Ibnul was in the car with her 2-year-old daughter Zuhaira.

Temoananui got out of his car, pulled Mrs Ibnul out and got into the driver's seat.

She opened the back door to try to get her daughter out of her child restraint but Temoananui drove forward, causing the child to fall out of the car and onto the road.

Zuhaira suffered cuts and grazes to her forehead and had to be taken to hospital.

Temoananui then continued to speed towards New Lynn, where he collided head-on with Mr Birbeck's ute.

The court was told he had been under the influence of methamphetamine, and could barely remember his actions that day.

"You could have killed someone and you could have killed yourself," Judge Aitken said.

When imposing the sentence she came to a starting point of four years' imprisonment but this was reduced to two years and six months due to several "very positive factors" .

She accepted that Temoananui was "deeply sorry" for his offending, and took into account his youth, his attempts to make amends with his victims and to address his drug problem.

She also gave him the full 25 per cent discount for his early guilty plea.

"I am very impressed with the mental movement that you have made, with the time that you have taken, Mr Temoananui, to think about the harm you caused, the harm you could have caused, and where you want to end up, going forward in your life."

She said reports from prison and probation authorities showed that Temoananui had the "insight and the ability" to change his ways.

"I think you know that only you can change it."

- APNZ

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