Houpapa sentence reduction bid fails

Photo / File
Photo / File

A man convicted of offences including assault, rape, dangerous driving and abduction has failed to have his sentence reduced.

Wayne Anthony Jonathon Houpapa (31) appealed his sentence of 14 and a half years in jail, saying it was ''manifestly excessive''.

Houpapa's appeal said the sentence should have been no higher than 12 years 9 months, and preferably no higher than 12 years.

Houpapa pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual violation, four charges of assaulting a female, one charge of assault with intent to injure and three charges of breaching a protection order.

The offending occurred between November 2006 and July 2014.

He had initially pleaded not guilty to the rapes, but changed his plea after hearing evidence given by the victim during his trial in June last year.

He also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and abducting a young person in July 2014.

The vast majority of the violence took place in Lawrence, where the couple lived together for the longest time after their relationship began in 2006.

Houpapa's primary grounds of appeal was that the 11 years 6 month starting point the Judge took for the two rape charges should have been no more than 10 years 6 months. He also believed the 12 months for the abduction should have been no higher than six months, his sentences for the first two protection order breaches should have been concurrent, and the sentence for the third and most serious breach should have been no higher than six months.

Finally, Houpapa believed he should have received a 10 percent discount for pleading to the sexual violations on the afternoon of the first day of the trial. The Court of Appeal's decision said the sentence imposed on Houpapa was severe but it was not manifestly excessive and involved no error.

The sentencing judge's starting point of 11 years 6 months was an entirely proportionate response to Houpapa's offending given the degree of violence.

The starting point of 18 months to 2 years for the abduction was warranted, and Houpapa's dangerous driving during the offence was an aggravating factor. The nine month sentence imposed for the third protection order breach was found to be warranted, and although the concurrent terms imposed for the earlier breaches were excessive they had no effect on Houpapa's final sentence.

The decision also found the sentencing judge did not have to apply a discount for Houpapa's plea to the rapes on the first day of the trial.

An extension to the time of appeal was granted, but the appeal against sentence was dismissed.

- NZ Herald

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