An Iranian man has pleaded with a judge to send him back to the Middle East after admitting to dousing a witness in petrol and trying to set him alight.

Amir Bananfard, 39, had earlier pleaded guilty to trying to deter another man from giving evidence and and appeared in the Auckland District Court today after a psychiatric report. He was also charged with robbery, assault with intent to injure, threatening to do grievous bodily harm, and driving while disqualified.

Court documents read that Bananfard, who has no listed occupation, doused the man, whom the Herald has chosen not to name, in petrol and tried to set fire to him on July 22 last year in Auckland.

Detective Senior Sergeant Glenn Baldwin earlier told the Herald Bananfard was arrested the same day in Mt Eden.


The robbery happened about a month earlier on June 20.

Bananfard's counsel John Corby told the court the psychiatric report answered many preconceived thoughts about his client's mental health.

He said, "anyone who has spent time with the man" knows Bananfard needed medical help.

The court heard Bananfard was suffering from substance and psychological issues.

Speaking through his Farsi language translator, Bananfard said: "I didn't kill anyone, I did some harm. I'm happy to go home and make you guys free."

However, Judge Evangelos Thomas replied that the criminal charges Bananfard faced were an entirely different matter to one of potential deportation back to Iran, which was an issue ultimately for immigration officials.

Judge Thomas remanded Bananfard in custody until his sentencing later this year.