The attacker of a man who ended up with an iron bar lodged in his head has been sentenced to home detention.
Shayne Zonneveld appeared for sentence in the Tauranga District Court yesterday on a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with reckless disregard. He was sentenced to 10 months' home detention and 200 hours' community work and was ordered to pay $8800 to his victim, Adam Armitage.
He was also given a three-strikes warning.
Zonneveld cried as Judge Robert Wolff described the impact the head injury had on Mr Armitage's life.
On January 17 Zonneveld was asked to assist a friend who believed his sister was in danger from her ex-partner, a friend of Mr Armitage's.
Zonneveld had accompanied his friend to confront the ex-partner.
"[The sister] was screaming and carrying on when they reached the address in Katikati," Judge Wolff said. "What's been discovered since is that the sister had arranged to meet her ex-partner and he had been set up.
"You [Zonneveld] were caught up in this subterfuge, too, to an extent."
When Armitage had arrived at the Katikati address with his friend, Zonneveld's friend had confronted them.
Judge Wolff said Zonneveld had gone into a garage and picked up a steel bar, which he had thrown at Mr Armitage's car. The bar had struck the car's B-pillar, damaging the vehicle, and got lodged in Mr Armitage's head.
"It caused a fractured skull, entering at a depth of 14mm, being 1mm away from causing death or permanent brain injury."
Judge Wolff said Mr Armitage had "considerable courage and stoicism" to then drive himself to the closest petrol station, Katikati Caltex, to get help while in intense pain.
"The stuck bar was not able to be removed in the course of transport to hospital. He had the natural fear that he would not survive the incident and, indeed, he was lucky to survive it."
Judge Wolff said reading Mr Armitage's victim impact statement was "harrowing".
Mr Armitage had been unable to work since the attack and it would be at least another year until he recovered enough to return. He was unable to drive because of the injuries, and found it difficult to read or watch television.
"His life really has been completely changed," Judge Wolff said. "He will never, in spite of the optimistic reports, ever be quite the same and says that his tendency to distrust people is something that has occurred as a result of the injury that was caused to him."
Judge Wolff said Zonneveld had, to an extent, been a victim of the "duplicity of the young lady behind this".
"As I have attempted to articulate, both you [Zonneveld] and Mr Armitage appear to have been caught up in something that was not of your making, and I have tried to reflect that in the sentence." Zonneveld had so far paid Mr Armitage $4000.