A Wairoa man's jaw was broken in two places and several of his teeth were loosened after a gang member felled him with a single punch and kicked him in the head.
Hemi Stephen Wamoana was jailed for two years, nine months by Judge Warren Cathcart in the Gisborne District Court this week after pleading guilty to injuring with intent to injure.
He also received a strike warning.
About a week ahead of the incident last July, Wamoana went to visit the victim's home at a Wairoa motel where Wamoana threatened to kill him.
At about 9.45am on July 31, Wamoana, driven by an associate, returned to the victim's home.
According to a police summary of facts, Wamoana was "patched up" in his Mongrel Mob regalia with the hood of his red sweatshirt pulled up over his head — clothing Wamoana knew sent a clear signal in Wairoa, Judge Cathcart said.
Wamoana got out of the car and stood with clenched fists and a menacing look on his face, gesturing towards the man and saying "are you worth going to jail for?"
The driver of the vehicle told Wamoana to "cut it out" and the pair drove off.
The victim went into his garage to get some gardening tools, during which time Wamoana and his associate returned, blocking most of the garage doorway with their vehicle.
Wamoana told the man, "I'm going to f***** waste you right now".
The man shrugged off the comment and tried to walk out of the garage past Wamoana.
As he did, Wamoana knocked him to the ground with a single punch and kicked him forcibly in the head.
Wamoana and his associate then left.
The man needed surgery to his jaw and suffered swelling and cuts to the inside of his mouth.
When questioned by police, Wamoana made no comment.
His motivation for the attack was not clear from the police summary of facts or submissions made in court.
Crown prosecutor Steve Manning urged a sentence starting point of five years.
The incident was captured on CCTV. While brief, it was unprovoked, gratuitous violence, Manning said.
It involved premeditation evident from the earlier threat. There was an element of gang warfare.
Counsel Alistair Clarke argued the premeditation was not limited. The serious injury caused was inherent in the charge. Wamoana was acting alone, not in an organised gang way.
The judge agreed with Clarke on a sentence starting point of four years imprisonment.
There was four months uplift for Wamoana's status on release conditions at the time of the offending and for his criminal history, which spanned 11 pages and included relevant convictions.
A cultural report commissioned by Clarke identified significant personal mitigating factors, for which the judge gave Wamoana discount of almost 20 percent (eight months).
The report provided insight as to what led Wamoana into a cycle of violence and offending.
For decades he experienced poverty, institutionalised life, poor parental oversight and care, and had suffered from crime himself.
He received a full 25 percent for his early guilty plea.
- Gisborne Herald