Farmer fined $400 for worker assault

A Martinborough farmer who admitted to police he had assaulted a 19-year-old he used to employ was fined $400 and ordered to pay court costs of $132.89 when he appeared in Masterton District Court on Friday.

William John Herrick pleaded guilty to assault claiming, through his lawyer, Louise Elder, he had been frustrated and disappointed with the way the victim had treated him and other family members. Ms Elder submitted Herrick had not only employed the victim but had looked out for him and taken him on field days and duck shooting.

She said the victim had stolen tyres from Herrick who had felt "ripped off and disappointed" and when the victim passed him in a vehicle on September 23 and failed to return his wave Herrick had reacted.

Judge Tony Walsh said according to a police summary Herrick had pushed the victim's head back through his car window, punched him and ripped his shirt.

"It was further alleged you said if he told anyone you would kill him," the judge said.

The victim had to be taken to Wairarapa Hospital for treatment.

Judge Walsh said "tension, anger and frustration" had boiled over when the teen refused to acknowledge Herrick and that had been "the straw that broke the camel's back".

An attempt had been made at restorative justice but the 19-year-old victim had not been willing to participate.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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