A Tauranga man who held a butter knife then a fork at the throat of a fellow student, saying "Allahu Akbar" in the victim's ear has lost his bid to keep his identity a secret.

Aaron Yoseph Glover-Talebi, 21, from Whakamarama, who pleaded guilty to a charge of common assault in the District Court at Tauranga on Monday, told the police his actions were meant to be taken as a joke.

Allahu Akbar is an Islamic phrase called Takbir in Arabic usually translated as meaning "Allah is [the] greatest" or "God is Great".

No conviction has yet been entered while the defendant explores the possibility of seeking a discharge without conviction.


The court heard that at 7.30am on September 13 Glover-Talebi and his victim were in the kitchen area of Avonmore Institute in Second Avenue

There had been no earlier grievances between the pair who were classmates.

The defendant was stirring a cup of coffee with a butter knife before he walked up
behind the victim who was sitting on a couch nearby, wrapped his arm around him and presented the knife at his chest.

Glover-Talebi said "Allahu Akbar" into the victim's ear, the court heard.

The victim grabbed the defendant's arm, pushed him away, and told him to stop.

Three hours later, the victim was seated at a table in the institute's cafeteria with some class mates, which included Glover-Talebi.

The defendant got up and approached the victim from behind, reached around him and put a butter knife beneath his chin near his throat.

The victim grabbed Glover-Talebi's wrist and pushed him away.

About two hours later the victim was again in the cafeteria, when a few minutes later the defendant approached him again and held a fork to his throat.

The victim grabbed the defendant and a short scuffle ensued. He suffered no injuries.

Glover-Talebi told the police his behaviour was intended "as a joke" and claimed "terrorism was topical at the moment."

His lawyer David Bates asked Judge Christopher Harding not to enter a conviction as the defendant intended applying for a discharge without conviction

Mr Bates urged Judge Harding to grant interim name suppression to protect his client's position pending the discharge application and to protect the reputation of the Institute.

Judge Harding declined the suppression application saying there were no strong grounds to do so.

The judge remanded Glover-Talebi on bail for the possibility of a restorative justice meeting to be held and for sentencing on November 13.