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A 23-year-old patched Mongrel Mob member has been jailed for 10 months after a "gratuitous" aggravated assault on two police officers.
Peter John Kawenga, from Napier, was sentenced by Judge Richard Watson in Napier District Court this week for his in-custody assault against two officers.
Kawenga pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault on police and resisting police, having lashed out without warning after an arrest for shoplifting on October 19.
Lawyer Andrei Sharko said Kawenga had been drinking with his brother on October 19 and the two had gone to Pak'nSave about 11pm to get food and more beer. Store security saw him eat a mussel, valued at $1, and he was refused service when trying to buy more alcohol. Police were called shortly after.
Kawenga's "sense of grievance" built up when police tightly cuffed him, Mr Sharko said. "First chance he gets, king-hit, his blood's up."
The police summary of facts said Kawenga was "compliant and engaged in conversation" on the way to the police station.
At the station he was asked to remove any personal items, before he king-hit a male officer on the right side of the jaw without provocation.
When a female officer tried to intervene, he punched her squarely in the face twice.
The attack was stopped after other officers intervened and restrained Kawenga, though he continued to struggle for several minutes.
In sentencing Judge Watson said an aggravating factor was that the attack was "without warning" and Kawenga had assaulted officers merely doing their duty.
While neither officer had to be admitted to hospital, the female officer received a closed-up, blackened left eye and grazes to her eyebrow and the ridge of her nose, and the male officer received a bruised jaw.