Prison for assault and drink driving

By Staff Reporter

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A Masterton man was yesterday sentenced to 22 months in prison for a series of offences including his eighth drink driving offence, and an attack on his stepfather.

Eddie Brendon Kokiri, 28, had pleaded guilty to injuring his stepfather with intent, in Gisborne in October 2011.

Judge Peter Hobbs said Kokiri had gone into the bedroom where his stepfather and mother were in bed, and his stepfather had asked him to "knock next time".

The accused had started to leave and then "suddenly come back" and kicked the man in the face.

Kokiri's shinbone had connected with the left side of his stepfather's face, causing multiple fractures to his cheekbone and major swelling and bruising to the left side of his face and eye.

Kokiri had also pleaded guilty to his eighth drink driving charge, two charges of driving while disqualified, and two of breaching bail.

The driving offences occurred in Carterton and Masterton in May and July 2011.

Judge Hobbs said the drink-drive and injuring charges "can only be dealt with cumulatively" because they were different in time and nature.

The judge sentenced Kokiri to 11 months' jail on both charges, noting that Kokiri had served 10 months in prison on his previous drink drive offence.

Kokiri's lawyer Louise Elder said full credit should be given for Kokiri's guilty plea despite a time delay, because the original charge, transferred from Gisborne, had been the more serious one of injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

In his early life Kokiri had suffered the loss of two close family members to violent deaths and "struggled to cope with emotional frustrations", Ms Elder said, adding help was needed "for the problems that have caused this young man to become drug and alcohol dependent and angry".

Judge Hobbs agreed, saying that "unfortunately judges and lawyers and everybody associated with the court process see too often the disastrous effects of addiction to alcohol".


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