The man who assaulted reporter Aziz Al-Sa'afin in central Auckland has been sentenced to 11 months' home detention.
Joden Martin faced the possibility of prison for the unprovoked attack on Al-Sa'afin and his friend Fergus Fauvel on Karangahape Rd in February.
The attack occurred while Martin was on remand for a road-rage incident that occurred in August last year.
Martin's defence lawyer Judith Walshe said the February assault was the "stupid and unacceptable actions of a grieving young man".
The 20-year-old was well supported at his sentencing today in the Auckland District Court by his mother, grandmother and other family members.
Judge Robert Ronayne said the court had been told homophobic slurs were used and that Martin held certain religious reviews.
"If that is so, you need to keep those views to yourself," he said.
"Toxic hatred cannot be dressed up as a religious view and then peddled out as some sort of freedom of religion or freedom of speech.
"You need to understand that tolerance cuts both ways."
Al-Sa'afin and Fauvel were standing near the corner of Karangahape Rd and Cobden St when they were assaulted without warning, court documents released to the Herald show.
Martin first swung at Fauvel and punched him behind his left ear.
"It was nothing short of a sucker punch. No warning, no opportunity for him to guard against your attack," Judge Ronayne said.
Stumbling to the side, Fauvel then suffered a kick to his shoulder as Martin continued the attack.
Martin then lashed out at Al-Sa'afin, landing two closed fist blows to the left ear and jaw of The AM Show reporter.
During the February 10 assault, Martin yelled "f***" and "h****" at the pair, court documents read.
Fauvel ran on to Karangahape Rd but was followed by Martin, who threw him to the ground, pushed him up against a wall and continued to throw punches.
Luckily, Fauvel managed to break free and fled.
Martin earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of injuring with intent to injure and assault with intent to injure over the altercation.
Al-Sa'afin has previously made a statement to the court about the ordeal.
"Growing up here in New Zealand, never did I think that I would be subjected to an assault like this," he said.
"I never thought that I would be the victim of a homophobic attack."
Al-Sa'afin said Martin made the two men "feel humiliated and worthless".
"The actions of Joden were made to feel like we didn't belong and that we were wrong in living our lives the way we were," he told the court.
After the attack, Al-Sa'afin said he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, which "worsened" after Martin's initial not guilty plea.
"It was further salt in the wound, it halted our recovery," he said.
"I find it really hard to speak about that night, it's like a knife in my stomach every time I do."
Al-Sa'afin said his physical injuries have healed but mentally he still struggles to comprehend what happened.
He said he wanted to think the attack and Martin wasn't a reflection of New Zealand and that it was an isolated incident.
"Sadly that homophobic rhetoric still exists out there, as do the kind of people who hold those extremist views," he said.
The August 2018 'road-rage' assault
Martin's sentencing today also dealt to the pre-existing August 2018 altercation.
"It was simple road rage, nothing more, nothing less," Judge Ronayne said.
Martin was a passenger in a vehicle driving in New Lynn when another vehicle refused to let them merge into a lane.
The victim and Martin pulled the fingers at each other before Martin flicked his cigarette at the other vehicle.
When the victim got out to look for any damage, Martin punched him and then dragged him to the ground.
While sitting on the prone victim he continued to punch him about the head, landing about 10 blows, which the judge labelled an aggravating feature of the offending.
Martin later explained he had been upset after attending his father's funeral.
Judge Ronayne said thousands of people every month attended funerals and they did not act like that.
"I entirely reject that as a mitigating factor."