Petar Vitali initially claimed when arrested that the
woman's injuries were from a suicide attempt but later
admitted the assault. Photo / Paul Estcourt
Auckland crime figure Petar Vitali has been sentenced to
five years and six months in prison for assaulting a young
woman who believed she was his biological daughter.
Vitali appeared in the High Court at Auckland this morning,
where his attack on Skye Mason was described as
The Herald today revealed that his victim is Skye Mason, the
woman convicted of kidnapping Kaukapakapa toddler Alyssa
Barker in July 2012.
The kidnapping came just two months after Mason was almost
killed by Vitali in a violent assault at the Riverhead
property where the pair lived.
The former gang member inflicted "prolonged and gratuitous''
violence on his victim during the attack, Justice Brendan
Vitali pleaded guilty to assaulting Ms Mason after a row over
He repeatedly punched and kicked her before tying a belt
around her neck and pulling it so tight he broke her jaw.
He took her over to a water-filled ice-box to wash the blood
from her face but then held her head under the water. She
managed to struggle free, and he took her into his caravan
where she spent the night.
"The violence you inflicted upon your victim was extreme ...
it was prolonged,'' Justice Brown said.
"You callously and gratuitously inflicted even more trauma by
pushing her head under water while she tried to clean her
"This level of violence was calculated to inflict the maximum
amount of terror upon your victim.''
Ms Mason declined to comment to media outside court, but her
victim impact statement said she felt "deeply betrayed'' by
She has two metal plates in her jaw, still suffers from neck
and back pain, and continues to have nightmares and
flashbacks from the assault.
Mason described herself as being "broken'' physically,
spiritually and emotionally.
"I was dead inside,'' she said in her statement.
The young woman suffered a breakdown shortly after the
"I loved this man so much it broke my heart deeply to be
treated this way by someone who means the world to me,'' she
Vitali, dressed in a blue shirt, sat in the dock with his
hands in his lap throughout most of the sentencing. He gave
Ms Mason a small wave as he was taken down after being handed
the jail term, with a non-parole period of three years and
- Patrice Dougan, Anna Leask