Three residents of the Manawatu beach village of Tangimoana who took the law into their own hands and beat and threatened a 16-year-old youth have been ordered to do community work.

Tracy Marie Thomsen, 39, Marcus John Thomsen, 35, and Kieran John Grice, 36, were sentenced in Palmerston North District Court after pleading guilty last month to the attack.

The court was told that, believing Johnathan Alfred Blair, then 16, to be responsible for a series of crimes in the village, they had dragged him from a Tangimoana house on September 2, 2007.

They beat him and then bound him while waiting for police to arrive.

Mr Blair suffered a bleeding nose, bruised eye and ear and numerous bumps and scrapes, the Manawatu Standard reported.

Judge Alistair Garland said the offending had a "vigilante" nature, which included Tracy Thomsen and Grice threatening to take Mr Blair into the forest where "no-one would ever see him again".

He said it was a frightening experience for a 16-year-old boy, "even one with his troubled background". Marcus Thomsen, who pleaded guilty to assault, was sentenced to 200 hours' community work, while Grice, who pleaded guilty to assault and threatening to kill, was sentenced to 250 hours.

Tracy Thomsen's lawyer, Brett Crowley, appealed to Judge Garland to discharge her from the assault and threatening to kill charges because a conviction would affect her bid to renew the liquor licence at her store.

Judge Garland delayed her sentencing until January 28 to consider the discharge, ordering her to complete 400 hours' community work.