Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the APNZ News Service office in Wellington.

Teen died in 'violent zone' - coroner

Izak Millanta. Photo / Police
Izak Millanta. Photo / Police

A 17-year-old Kapiti Coast youth died after a brutal assault near an area that had developed into a "serious alcohol fuelled violent zone'', an inquest into his death has found.

Izak Millanta was killed in the early hours of August 11, 2012, after being attacked by Manawanui Stewart at the carpark of the Kapiti Lights Complex near a bar called Retro, a popular gathering area for young people.

Stewart later pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced in the High Court at Wellington to six years' jail for that assault and another at the same time.

Five weeks following Mr Millanta's death, Sean Strongman-Lintern, 20, was stabbed to death in the same area by Tristim Eastham. He received a nearly six-year jail term for Mr Strongman-Lintern's manslaughter.

Wellington Coroner Ian Smith said Mr Millanta was a talented musician and was one of four siblings.

On the night of August 10, he and some friends had been to a party before heading to the complex and continuing drinking.

About 1am, Stewart saw Mr Millanta's brother and assaulted him. For the next hour there were other altercations between Stewart and his associates and Mr Millanta's friends and others in the area.

Just before 3am, Stewart approached Mr Millanta and told him to stay away from the area, Coroner Smith said.

"Stewart apparently took exception to the attitude that he perceived the deceased was displaying towards him.''

He began to follow Mr Millanta, who was leaving the area and apologising to Stewart for being smart to him, Coroner Smith said.

When he caught up with the youth, Stewart and an associate assaulted Mr Millanta, including stomping and punching him in his abdomen.

He was left unconscious on the ground until a police car spotted him and called emergency services, which worked on him for an hour before taking him to Wellington Hospital.

He died from his injuries on August 12.

After the death, Kapiti and Coast District Council introduced a temporary overnight alcohol-free zone in the urban centres in the area, which later became a permanent by-law.

Lighting had improved and CCTV cameras had also been installed in a crime prevention strategy, Coroner Smith said.

It was clear at the time of Mr Millanta and Mr Strongman-Lintern's deaths the area had developed into a "serious alcohol fuelled violent zone''.

"It is now pleasing to see that the council has taken drastic steps to improve this precinct and it is hoped that with the new liquor law provisions, this situation will not occur again in the future,'' Coroner Smith said.

- APNZ

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