An 18-year-old who forced his way into a Hawkes Bay woman's home and attacked her with a rock from her garden has been sentenced to two years and four months in jail.
The sentence was imposed today when Izaiah Roland Abbott, of Whakatu, appeared before Justice Stephen Kos in the High Court in Napier.
With no previous convictions, he had pleaded guilty to charges of injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and aggravated burglary in December after a charge of attempted murder was abandoned by the Crown.
Abbott burst into the 29-year-old woman's home in Railway Rd, Whakatu,about 11am on the Sunday of May 13 last year, angry and wanting to "hurt someone" after an altercation at a nearby address where he and friends had been drinking throughout the previous night.
The woman, targeted by Abbott because he knew she lived alone and was vulnerable, managed to deflect him as as he tried to hit her with the rock aimed at her head. The rock fell from his hand before he punched her to the floor and kicked her in the head before fleeing as she screamed for help while trying to shield herself beneath a table.
Justice Kos gave Abbott credit for admissions to police three days later, at a time when Abbott was regarded as no more than a suspect, and for remorse which he said was clear from a letter written by Abbott to the victim, which the Judge said was unusual in the circumstances in that it focused on the wellbeing of the woman and not the predicament which Abbott was in.
The Judge was told Abbott's mother died when he was aged six, and had never known his father, but had a supported upbringing in the care of his grandparents and was regarded as respectful with little difficulty, until he began consuming alcohol and smoking cannabis in his first year at high school, from which he was expelled after arguments and fighting.
Justice Kos was concerned at the potential for reoffending with Abbott's leaning towards gang associations for support, but he was impressed by Abbott's view of eight months in jail awaiting the outcome, saying it was a "horrible" place and not somewhere he wished to spend the rest of his life.
The Judge said a victim impact statement highlighted the physical and emotional trauma for the victim, who suffered a chipped tooth, bruising and other injuries. She needed a week off work, but more than six months later was still having difficulty recovering, and returning to her former trusting outgoing personality.
Crown prosecutor Nicola Graham had sought a "starting point" of seven years, while defence counsel Eric Forster asked the Judge to start at up to three years nine months before aggravating or mitigating factors into account.