Bashed cop wants to put attack behind him

A lone Kawhia police constable who was assaulted while arresting a man says he's trying to put the attack in the past and even hopes to shake his attacker's hand one day.

Jackie Maikuku yesterday pleaded guilty in the Hamilton District Court to assault with intent to obstruct a police officer executing his duty.

The charge relates to an incident in Kawhia in January last year when Constable Perry Griffin tried to arrest the 21-year-old on a number of outstanding warrants.

Mr Griffin told the Herald yesterday he remained committed to the small coastal Waikato town and had no plans to leave. "I'd even like to shake Jackie's hand one day," he said.

In sentencing Maikuku to nine months in prison, Judge David Ruth said he had already served his time after being in custody at Waikeria Prison since the incident. Maikuku was released yesterday afternoon.

"I sincerely hope you and your community can get on and put all of this behind you," said Judge Ruth.

Outside court, Maikuku's father, Jack Maikuku, said his son was looking forward to going home but he would be staying away from Mr Griffin and would try to stay out of trouble.

- James Ihaka of the New Zealand Herald

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