A young Whangarei mother attacked and injured her neighbours after stocking up on drugs and alcohol using $600 she received in backpay from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).
Te Arani Walters, 18, was jailed by Whangarei District Court on Friday after she earlier pleaded guilty to charges of injuring with intent to injure, wounding with reckless
disregard, threatening to kill, breach of community work, and shoplifting.
Judge Duncan Harvey told Walters that she would not be a good mother to her 3-year-old daughter unless she overcame problems associated with drugs and alcohol. On
December 21, 2012, she bought some clothes for her daughter from the MSD payout and spent the balance on alcohol and methamphetamine.
Judge Harvey said after arriving home about midday, Walters consumed a large amount of whisky, cannabis, methamphetamine and sleeping tablets.
Three neighbours who were invited for drinks decided to leave after Walters' behaviour became erratic and confrontational.
She followed and threatened them and later forced her way into their home, persistently abusing the trio.
One man tried to physically remove her but got bitten on his forearm. Judge Harvey said Walters broke a glass platter and struck another occupant with the largest piece.
She also got hold of a large kitchen knife but after seeing police, she dropped it and ran back home and pretended to be sleep. The shoplifting charge was unrelated and involved the theft of $94 worth of clothes from a Whangarei store.
Judge Harvey said if it hadn't been for a cocktail of drugs and alcohol, Walters may not have behaved in a violent manner.
Prosecutor David Stevens said one victim required 13 stitches and said home detention was not an appropriate penalty.
Defence lawyer Wiremu Puriri said Walters could become a "bad person" if her drugs and alcohol addiction wasn't addressed.
Judge Harvey sentenced her to two years and nine months in prison on the lead charge of wounding with reckless disregard and a further four months for breaching her community work, to be served cumulatively.
for more articles from this region, go to NORTHERN ADVOCATE