Former Southland Stags rugby player Pita Wilson jailed for role in kidnapping

Former Southland Stags rugby player Pita William Wilson. Photo: Otago Daily Times
Former Southland Stags rugby player Pita William Wilson. Photo: Otago Daily Times

A former Southland Stags rugby player at the centre of the kidnapping of three men and the assault of one in Queenstown in late 2014 has been sentenced to time in jail.

After a seven-day trial in the Invercargill District Court, Pita William Wilson, 40, of Glenorchy, was found guilty earlier this month of kidnapping Joseph Armstrong, Andrew Lee and Casey Johnston between November 25 and 26, 2014, and injuring Mr Armstrong with intent to injure.

Sentencing him today, Judge Brian Callaghan said a total sentence of three years and 10 months was appropriate given Wilson's actions on the night and his previous numerous convictions for violence.

Armstrong had been detained and assaulted in his home, a cabin in the Lakeview Holiday Park.

The judge said while Wilson had not gone there with the intention of assaulting Mr Armstrong, he had gone there to confront him about whether he was having a relationship with his girlfriend.

''I agree while this wasn't a home invasion, it became a revenge attack.''

Mark Junior Taylor (19), of Bluff, was sentenced to three months' community detention and 160 hours of community work.

Judge Callaghan said a community-based sentence was appropriate because of his age, his limited involvement in the incident and the fact he was a first offender.

At trial, the jury found Taylor not guilty on kidnapping charges but guilty of being a party to assaulting Mr Armstrong.

Taylor was at the cabin ''at the wrong time'', the judge said today. Out of loyalty to Wilson, he acted as look-out while Mr Armstrong was assaulted and helped detain the three men at the cabin.

Mitchell McClenaghan appeared for the Crown. John Westgate appeared for Wilson and David Slater for Taylor.

- Otago Daily Times

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

Stats provided by

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 23 Oct 2016 19:45:03 Processing Time: 674ms