Rob Kidd is a NZME. News Service court reporter based in Auckland.

Man jailed for trying to rip out teenage girlfriend's teeth with pliers

The teenager's ordeal lasted several days.
The teenager's ordeal lasted several days.

An Auckland man who tried to rip out his girlfriend's teeth with pliers has been jailed for six-and-a-half years.

The High Court at Auckland heard harrowing details of how the defendant tried to remove two teeth but pieces of them kept breaking off.

He tried a different pair of pliers but the results were the same, leaving the teenage victim requiring extensive dental surgery.

The man, in his 40s, who has permanent name suppression to protect the identity of the woman, was previously found guilty at trial of wounding with intent to injure, disfiguring with intent to injure and kidnapping.

He was acquitted on more than a dozen other sex and violence allegations.

Justice Timothy Brewer described the ordeal, which happened over a couple of days around Christmas 2014, as "cruel and degrading".

"You have caused her serious and enduring harm," he said.

The man and teen had been in a relationship for five months before he accused her of molesting his daughter.

Initially she denied it, but he "drilled her and drilled her" until she made admissions.

The defendant grabbed a paving brick from outside and told the victim to place her hand on it.

"You got her to put a gag in her mouth to stifle the screams you expected would result," Justice Brewer said.

"She covered her eyes and you put on a favourite Judge Dredd song and said that some time during the song you would break her finger with the hammer.

"She knew it would hurt a lot but she was willing to pay this price to enable the relationship to continue."

The single blow broke two bones, bled profusely and landed the woman in hospital overnight.

The following day she returned to the South Auckland address hoping they could resume their relationship but the defendant was bent on further punishment.

He went to Bunnings where he bought cable ties, which he used to bind the victim.

"I don't know how long she was tied up but it was not for a fleeting period of time," the judge said.

During the trial, the court heard evidence from one of the man's children about seeing the woman hopping around the house.

Before the defendant took to his partner's teeth with the pliers, he threatened to knock her out with a hammer should she resist.

Justice Brewer highlighted the evidence given by a forensic dentist about the results of the attack.

"[They] talked about the great force and pressure you would have had to exert to cause the damage," he said.

"Her teeth required considerable dental restoration and will never be the same, and her already fragile mental health has been further damaged.

"It was particularly cruel."

The man had a "reasonably extensive" criminal history but no convictions for violence since 1995, the court heard.

Justice Brewer said the defendant had shown no remorse and his argument the victim had consented to her finger being broken was not a legal defence.

"Domestic violence is far too common in New Zealand and far too frequently the victims are vulnerable females."

NZME rk

- NZ Herald

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