Key Points:

A couple suffering from depression - and feeding off each other's illnesses - were pushed too far by text taunting and responded with a machete attack on those harassing them.

Karlina Marie Yates, 19, a caregiver, got a four month home detention sentence for the charge of aggravated burglary - she took a crowbar to the confrontation.

Steven Leonard Clunie, 21, was jailed for three years and five months, and was crying and hugging his partner as he was taken to the cells. He had admitted the charge of aggravated burglary and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

He had taken a machete to the confrontation which escalated when one of the other group threw a brick. Defence counsel Tony Garrett says Clunie lost control at that point and slashed the man on his thigh, and then inflicted wounds on his arm and head.

Thirty-five sutures were needed to close the wound in the thigh, where the layers of muscle had been cut right down to the bone.

Mr Garrett said the couple had been taunted about their mental state in text messages, and they had replied. Clunie, who had spent time in Hillmorton Hospital last year, had been described in the texts as "a dropnut".

He said the taunting would have been manageable for mature adults but for this couple it had been overwhelming.

Yates' defence counsel Elizabeth Bulger confirmed that her client had been diagnosed with a major depressive episode days before the attack. "It was one text too many as far as she was concerned."

Crown prosecutor Tim Mackenzie said it had been a home invasion attack and the court must condemn that sort of irrational response to text taunting.

Judge Farish said the victim regarding the texting as "tit for tat" but had never dreamed that it would bring this kind of response.

She believed the couple had "fed off" each other's illnesses, which led them to respond in an irrational way to the taunting.

During her home detention, Yates will have to undertake counselling or treatment as directed, abstain from using alcohol or illicit drugs, and undertake employment as directed.

Judge Farish said she would ensure the prison authorities were made aware of Clunie's depressive illness "so they can take steps to ensure your incarceration is safe".

- NZPA