Women jailed for kidnapping and theft

By Katie Holland, katie.holland@dailypost.co.nz

Two Rotorua women who bashed a man over the head with a frying pan then tied him up, gagged him and robbed him have been jailed.

Anihau Hunuhunu and Alyssa Paige Mita, both 21, were sentenced in the Rotorua District Court yesterday to four years each in prison after previously pleading guilty to aggravated robbery and kidnapping.

Judge Phillip Cooper said on November 5 last year the pair were socialising and drinking with the victim at his Holland St home.

After a couple of hours, Hunuhunu, who had known the man for some time, closed the curtains and, while the man was in the kitchen, Mita hit him over the head with a frying pan - although there was some discussion as to whether it was a pan or a pot. They then punched and kicked him and hit him with a heavier pot until its handle broke.

The women tied the man's hands and feet with electrical cord and gagged his mouth with socks. They then stole his plasma TV, laptop, computer equipment, more than $300 cash, alcohol, a cellphone and took his Eftpos card and demanded the pin number.

The pair loaded the property into the man's car and left in it. The car was later recovered but most of the property, valued at more than $7000, was disposed of.

Judge Cooper said the victim had escaped with cuts, bruises and grazes but it could have been worse. He said the man, who had since left Rotorua, had suffered emotional distress and flashbacks.

Hunuhunu's lawyer Moana Dorset accepted there had been some level of premeditation to the attack on the part of her client.

"It resulted from a slow burning anger that had gone on for some years due to the unhealthy nature of the relationship [with the victim]," she said. "Something cracked and she thought 'I am going to deal with this one way or another'. She dealt with it wrongly, of course."

Harry Edward, acting for Mita, said his client had not known what was going to happen and had not gone to the house with a weapon.

Both lawyers said their clients were remorseful and had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

In sentencing, Judge Cooper said he had taken into account the fact there were two offenders, there had been an aspect of kidnapping and it happened in the man's own home. He also took into account both women's previous convictions for burglary and the fact Mita was serving a sentence of community detention when the offending happened.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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