Jail for woman who humiliated man by shaving off eyebrows

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A woman who humiliated an Auckland man by shaving off his eyebrows will begin a six-month jail term tomorrow.

Rosana Hiki Pou Ferguson's bid to avoid prison has been rejected by Court of Appeal judges who thought home detention was an inappropriate alternative.

Ferguson has been ordered to surrender herself to the High Court at Auckland at 9am tomorrow and from there will begin a jail term for assaulting sickness beneficiary Paul Wilson.

The 33-year-old, who lived with Ms Ferguson and her partner Peau Tulisi, his cousin, was found dead at their property in March 2012.

Tulisi is serving a 12-year prison term for his manslaughter.

A court summary described Mr Wilson as a "simple person of mild manner", who, while living with Tulisi and Ferguson, was "subjected to continuous domestic violence and treated like a child".

Ferguson was not implicated in Mr Wilson's death but punished him by making him do exercises, such as standing on his tip-toes, slapping him and making him sit facing the wall.

On one occasion she shaved Mr Wilson's eyebrows in what sentencing judge, Justice Brendan Brown, QC, described as an "expression of punishment and humiliation".

At the beginning of her trial Ferguson admitted two charges of assault. Justice Brown thought her actions too cruel for her to serve a home detention sentence.

In a decision released today, the Court of Appeal agreed, citing the fact that one charge covered a period of six months when Ferguson subjected Mr Wilson to assaults that lasted upto an hour.

"The acts of forcing an adult to crawl on his bottom or stand on tip-toes for long periods, slapping him, and the shaving of his hair and eyebrows all show a significant level of ongoing cruelty, beyond that which normally occurs in common assault," the Court of Appeal judgment says.

The appeal judges said there was no good reason for Ferguson to avoid jail and nothing in a psychologist's report given to the court had changed their view.

The appeal was heard by Justice Robert Dobson, Justice Rhys Harrison and Justice Raynor Asher.

- APNZ

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