Amelia Wade is a court reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Man who punched an All Black's pregnant wife sent to prison

Charlie Faumuina whose then heavily pregnant wife was punched during a road rage incident in 2014. Photo / File.
Charlie Faumuina whose then heavily pregnant wife was punched during a road rage incident in 2014. Photo / File.

A man who punched the heavily pregnant wife of an All Black has been sentenced to 10 months in prison.

The sentence could be converted to home detention.

Robert Rata Moka, 46, was found guilty in May of assaulting Rachelle Faumuina, the wife of All Blacks prop and Blues player Charlie Faumuina.

Judge John Berseng said it was clear Moka was looking to extract his "own form of justice" on someone he thought had wronged him.

Moka was convicted of reckless driving and assaulting a female. He, and his daughter Aroha Kahui, 20, also faced a count of threatening behaviour but both were found not guilty.

In October, 2014, in Mangere, the Blues player had been giving a talk at Otahuhu College. Faumuina, who was eight months' pregnant, said she went for a drive to get a drink and kill some time.

While letting a bus a merge in front of her, the driver behind became impatient and repeatedly tooted the horn.

Faumuina pulled the fingers at the duo who then came up to her car and started yelling.

Afraid, Faumuina pulled away but clipped Moka's wing mirror.

In their evidence, the father and daughter said Faumuina hit Kahui with her car as she drove off, knocking the then-teenager unconscious. The teen subsequently spent a week in hospital.

When the All Black's wife pulled over outside a shop, she spotted the other car approaching at speed, eventually bumping into the side of her car.

Moka ran over to her car, yelling, and grabbed her head with his left hand and punched her in the forehead.

At sentencing in the Manukau District Court today, Moka's lawyer Esma Brown said he was "very remorseful" and he only reacted so because he'd seen his daughter hit by a car and roll onto the road.

"His daughter could have died that day."

Brown asked the judge to consider that Moka had 10 children in his care, "quite serious" medical issues and his age.

However, police prosecutor Eardley Dijkstra said instead of taking his daughter to the hospital after being hit by Faumuina, he embarked on a "dangerous pursuit" that culminated in him blocking the victim in her car, which also put others at risk.

Dijkstra asked the judge to consider a sentence that would be a deterrent for the defendant and other road users.

"Of course this type of [road rage] incident is all too frequent on the roads of New Zealand and denunciation is only too appropriate."

Judge Berseng said the event was clearly traumatic for Faumumina who said in her victim impact statement that it had changed her life forever.

"Your type of behaviour has absolutely no place in our community. It is not for you to take the law into your own hands."

He said it was clear Moka was "simply incensed" and seeking to "extract your own form of justice".

He told Moka the appropriate thing to have done after seeing his daughter hit by a car would have been to take her to hospital or go to the police.

Judge Berseng sentenced Moka to 10 months' imprisonment with leave to apply for home detention if an appropriate address could be established.

After he was sentenced, his whanau who were supporting him in court called out: "We love you, Dad."

Kahui, in tears, yelled at the judge: "Get some justice for me - it's disgusting" before she was taken out of the court by security.

- NZ Herald

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