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A gang member jailed for kidnapping his partner and gouging her eye with a knife says he wants "to stay on a positive track" when he gets out of prison - but that won't be happening any time soon.
Sio Muliipu, 32, was jailed for 13 years in 2012 for kidnapping his partner from a safe house where she had fled to escape his violence, and brutally assaulting her.
He stabbed her through her eyebrow causing irreparable damage and beat her with part of a vacuum cleaner during the ordeal.
Muliipu denied some of the offending but a jury found him guilty of two counts of injuring with intent to injure, one count of assault with a weapon, two counts of kidnapping and one count of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
At the start of the trial he pleaded guilty to one other charge of injuring with intent to injure.
The offending he was jailed for happened in late 2011.
Muliipu appeared before the Parole Board for the second time last month.
If not granted an early release, he will remain in prison until December 2024.
Parole Board panel convenor Mary More said Muliipu had completed a number of programmes in prison designed to address his offending.
He told the board that through the programme work he had learned he wanted to stay on a positive track.
However, the board had some concerns about releasing the violent offender.
"We were originally advised that he has a partner and she and her family were going to help him," said More in her decision, released this week.
"Prior to this hearing the board received an [additional report] in which [she] said that she wanted all of her information in Mr Muliipu's Parole Board reports to be disregarded ... [she] advised that she and Mr Muliipu are no longer in a relationship and that she and her whānau will no longer be providing support for him."
Muliipu told the board he believed the pair were still in a relationship and his partner simply felt "pressured and distressed" the day she filed the new report.
He said his partner was "having issues" with the case manager and was "angry".
"As far as Mr Muliipu is concerned the relationship is going strong, there is good communication and it is a supportive relationship," More said.
Muliipu's lawyer told the board he was not actually seeking parole - that he was "realistic" about the further work he had to do in relation to his reintegration and release proposal.
"Mr Muliipu spoke very well to the board, he spoke openly about what he had learned in his programmes and the positive pathway he wishes to be on," More said.
"Mr Muliipu did struggle to articulate his high-risk situations and had to refer to his safety plan.
"The board understood his nervousness, however he does not appear to have internalised and committed to memory the skills he needs to know to prevent further offending and to deal with his high-risk situations."
More said the board felt that without any further reintegration and without a robust release plan, Muliipu's risk to the community remained undue.
"The board would like to see Mr Muliipu apply for external self-care and hopefully undertake some work outside the wire or if possible release to work, to put into place the skills he has learned on the programmes," More said.
"Mr Muliipu needs to develop a robust release proposal and share it with his support people ... and the board would like to hear further from [his suggested partner] if this relationship is indeed on track or if, from her point of view, it is over.
"Either way the relationship is untested and the strength of [the woman's] support is uncertain.
Muliipu will next appear before the board in February.
"Serious unprovoked gratuitous violence" - Muliipu's reign of terror
Court documents outline Muliipu's litany of abuse against his partner - the mother of his newborn twins.
The babies were taken into care by authorities because of Muliipu's violence - he had a history of abusing the babies' mother and his former partner.
The twins were put back into the care of their mother when she relocated away from Muliipu.
He then persuaded her to return and live with him and the twins were "concealed" from authorities by being left with Muliipu's sister.
On November 20, 2011, Muliipu - who had recently been released from prison after serving time for assaulting a woman - was at home with his partner who had become upset at not being able to see the children.
"He struck her twice with a vacuum cleaner pipe because her crying annoyed him," court documents state."
Three days later the children were located and uplifted by Child Youth and Family (now Oranga Tamariki) and the couple became "upset" and started drinking.
Later the woman "sought permission" from Muliipu to use the toilet and he pulled her hair and struck her several times in the face with his elbow.
A few days later she reported the incident to police and got a protection order.
She the moved to another property.
"Unfortunately she maintained contact with Mr Muliipu," the courts heard.
"At 8.30pm on 5 December he arrived at the house where she was living with his brother, went upstairs to the victim's room, and dragged her by the hair out to his car.
"There he punched her a number of times and pulled her hair.
"He then took her to a Hastings address and imprisoned her in a bedroom, wedging knives into the door frame and moving a dresser to ensure she could not escape, before subjecting her to a long and severe beating.
"At about 11pm he pulled her head back and drove a knife down through her left eyebrow, penetrating her eyeball and wounding her finger in the process.
"He continued to beat her for some hours."
Muliipu then made the injured woman shower.
"He offered her two Panadol tablets for pain relief, but he did nothing to get medical assistance," the documents revealed.
"Not until the Armed Offenders Squad arrived some 17 hours after the kidnapping was the victim rescued.
"Surgeons found it necessary to remove the victim's eye. She also suffered major internal and external bruising."
Muliipu initially told police the women's eye injury was caused by female associates of a rival gang.
He later suggested the injury occurred accidentally when he and the complainant fell down the stairs.
"Remarkably, when you gave evidence to the jury, you maintained the story that the complainant's injury to her eye was caused by an unknown item which you grabbed from a toy box and threw at the complainant," the sentencing judge said.
"The reason why that story was unbelievable was because the surgeon who treated the complainant gave irrefutable evidence that the wound you inflicted was caused by a knife-like implement.
"He described the wound as being like a surgical incision and that the tissues in the eye are tough, robust and hard to sever.
"He said considerable force had been used when the complainant's eye was stabbed.
The judge said Muliipu's offending was displayed "serious unprovoked gratuitous violence".
At the time he had 43 previous convictions including assault, injuring with intent to injure and assaulting a female.
Muliipu was ordered to serve a minimum non-parole period of seven years, which he unsuccessfully appealed.
While he met the criteria for preventive detention - an indefinite prison term where a person can only be released when deemed safe by the Parole Board - it was not imposed.
"Disturbingly, the reports indicate that you are likely to commit another qualifying sexual or violent offence when released from prison," the sentencing judge said.
"However, I have decided not to impose a sentence of preventive detention because in my judgement, if you are ever going to successfully reintegrate into society you need to focus on finite goals that may go some way to enabling you to return to society.
"There is some evidence that you understand the seriousness of your offending, notwithstanding the implausible explanation for the serious wound you inflicted upon the complainant.
"There does appear to be a strong connection between your alcohol abuse and your offending. There are indications that you wish to address this fundamental cause of your offending.
"There is some evidence in the reports that you have the capacity to address the root cause of your offending."
Muliipu was still "relatively young" and the judge said he had time - if he was rehabilitated - to "be able to contribute to society".
His family support also buoyed the judge.
"I was impressed by the fact that you do have some family support. I watched your mother when you gave evidence. It was obvious that she was deeply distressed by your behaviour.
"The reports indicate that you respect and respond to the support that you receive from your mother and from some of your brothers and sisters. Hopefully their continued support will enable you to change your life."
DO YOU NEED HELP?
If you're in danger now:
• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you.
• Run outside and head for where there are other people.
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you.
• Take the children with you.
• Don't stop to get anything else.
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay
Where to go for help or more information:
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 refuge or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and middle eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz