Gang brawler at kid's party avoids jail

By Katie Holland -
The incident happened outside a child's first birthday party in Koutu. Photo / Ben Fraser
The incident happened outside a child's first birthday party in Koutu. Photo / Ben Fraser

Another Rotorua man has avoided jail for his part in a gang brawl outside a child's first birthday party in Koutu.

Tiwha Joseph Ransfield, 31, was sentenced in the Rotorua District Court on Friday to six months' community detention and 200 hours' community work after previously pleading guilty to a charge each of possession of an offensive weapon and intentional damage.

He was also sentenced to nine months' supervision and another 100 hours' community work for a separate assault on a workmate.

Judge Phillip Cooper said Ransfield was one of six men who went on to the property on September 30 last year after gang slogans were exchanged, carrying bars and pieces of timber. Judge Cooper said as children ran in fear, Ransfield used his weapon to attack a ute.

The judge told Ransfield he had intended to send him to prison. However, he was bound by a recent High Court decision in respect of 21-year-old Piki Tane Riki, one of Ransfield's co-offenders. Riki was sentenced to four months' jail in December but the High Court subsequently reduced that on appeal to a sentence of community detention and community work.

Another co-offender, Aaron Leslie Davis, 35, was previously sentenced to 18 months' jail on three charges, including injuring with intent to injure, after he hit a man with a piece of timber.

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