Pravit Singh. Photo NZ Herald
A mum viciously attacked on her daily walk is furious
that up to a dozen witnesses refused to intervene.
The daytime attack that left Praveet Singh with fractured eye
sockets and a broken nose has sparked calls for Kiwis to "do
their duty to one another".
Singh, 40, was on her regular pre-dinner walk near her home
in Papatoetoe, Auckland, on Thursday when she was set upon in
the street by a man who allegedly started punching her, and
threw a bottle at her.
Singh sought safety in a driveway but she said the man chased
her and the attack continued.
The mother of two said homeowners watched as the beating
continued. One had pushed her back towards her attacker. "The
neighbourhood gathered and I kept screaming for help and no
one did anything. It was a freakshow to them. I've been
beaten nearly to death and there were spectators."
Singh, who moved to New Zealand from Fiji in 2003, was
recovering at a relative's house.
Narendra Kumar said he initially thought it was a domestic
assault and had been reluctant to intervene.
He continued washing his car while the attack continued, also
saying he suffered from health problems which meant he
couldn't get involved. "I'm not afraid of anybody but I
couldn't afford to stop him."
Another neighbour who saw the attack said he was afraid of
being charged with assault if he got involved. "Otherwise we
would have done something. We feel the New Zealand
self-defence rules are really too poor. The attacker's seen
us before. If he gets released from jail, he could come
Neighbour Singh Sandeep was studying when he heard the
shouting for help. "I thought it was a domestic dispute.
Praveet was on the ground getting punched. Praveet's eyes
were black and there was blood."
Retired police detective inspector Graham Bell, presenter of
Police Ten 7 on TV, said the attack was deplorable. "There's
a growing tendency for people to just not want to look over
the fence or keep looking at the ground and just moving on."
They might be worried about being hurt, about repercussions
from offenders, and not getting the back- up of courts if
"Public violence has got worse than it once was. For that
reason people are more frightened than they used to be. I
think the potential for personal injury is much higher than
it once was. You know the police can't do everything. The
police really are only as good as the rest of the citizenry.
We all have a duty to one another. The courts need to do more
to back up people who do intervene in good faith."
Local MP Su'a William Sio said it was shocking to see someone
being beaten up and even more shocking how few responded.
"We live in a society where it has become difficult to
intervene because we're focused on making ends meet. We don't
have time to get involved or show interest in the well-being
of our neighbours."
Once he had come across a man beating his partner. "I honked
my horn, yelled at him to get off, and asked my relatives to
call the police ... Ultimately it's the community's role to
be interested in what's happening."
Under the Crimes Act, bystanders are allowed to use
"reasonable force in the defence of another person", and do
not have to wait until they have been attacked before taking
action to protect themselves.
A 26-year-old man appeared in the Manukau District Court on
Friday charged with common assault and injuring with intent