Anger fuels Masterton axe rampage


A Masterton man who smashed up his mother's house with an axe in a fit of rage was convicted of wilful damage when he appeared in Masterton District Court.

Sonny George Robin Wimutu, 20, last week pleaded guilty to the charge.

According to the police summary of facts, on June 28 Wimutu was at his mother's house in Church St, Masterton.

Wimutu had been drinking the night before and was asleep in the lounge.

His 63-year-old mother took some hot ashes outside and returned to the house to get water to dampen them down.

Wimutu awoke and became angry at his mother, because he feared his 2-year-old son would burn himself on the embers when he visited later in the day.

He yelled abuse at his mother and began smashing the inside of the house with an axe.

His mother left the house and went next door to a neighbour to ring police.

She met police outside her house and led them to the back door. Two front windows of the house had been smashed.

Wimutu was still inside and when he heard police at the back door he repeatedly smashed at the inside walls with an axe.

Police appealed to Wimutu to calm down but he replied by swinging the axe at the back door where they were standing, putting a hole in it.

Wimutu told police not to come inside and that he had lost the plot.

Further police units were called to help and a taser was requested.

Wimutu continued to hit objects inside the house until officers managed to calm him down. He then came outside and agreed to leave with police.

In explanation, he said he was upset because the anniversary of his sister's death was coming up and he was annoyed at his mother for putting hot ashes outside where his son might find them.

He was remorseful for his actions and for upsetting his mother.

His mother's house was left with numerous axe holes and two smashed windows.

Defence lawyer Ian Hard said it was a "one-off event" for Wimutu and that he was still living with his mother.

"He was angry and did a lot of damage, and accepts that," Mr Hard said.

He said Wimutu had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

Probation officer David Smith said Wimutu indicated he would like help with alcohol and drug issues.

"He has had some other issues as a result of past experiences and the death of his sister," Mr Smith said.

Judge Tony Walsh said Wimutu had previous convictions for wilful damage in 2011.

He said Wimutu had clearly had a "meltdown of some sort".

"I am concerned about your behaviour, on this occasion, as you indicated to police you just lost the plot."

He said the focus of the sentence would be on rehabilitation to deal with Wimutu's alcohol, drug and anger issues.

"These are serious issues that you must address."

Judge Walsh sentenced Wimutu to nine months' supervision with special conditions to attend a stopping violence programme, and counselling.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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