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A member of a vigilante posse who took revenge on a woman for spending drug money on the pokies has narrowly avoided imprisonment.
Raniera Tamugene Luigi Makoare (30) appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to burglary, possessing a knife, wilful damage and theft.
The charges, which came from two incidents over a three-week period last year, were made more serious because the defendant was serving a sentence of supervision at the time, Judge Emma Smith said.
Makoare was assisted at sentencing by his father, with whom he had reconnected in recent months for the first time in his adult life.
“He’s a good boy when he’s away from those idiots,” the defendant’s father said.
Nine months ago, the judge said, Makoare himself was one of those “idiots”.
On September 24, he used a ladder to enter a Mosgiel home through a window and took several gaming consoles, a crystal bowl and drinking glasses, worth a total of nearly $2000.
What was particularly shameful, Judge Smith said, was that Makoare also stole a carved bone pendant which held significant sentimental value.
“You didn’t care about [the victims]. You only cared about yourself,” she said.
The following month Makoare became involved in a dispute after his then girlfriend was ripped off.
She had given cash to an associate, requesting her to source methamphetamine, but instead that woman gambled the money away on the pokies at a local bar.
The victim was preparing to leave a Corstorphine address in her car when Makoare, his aggrieved girlfriend and others saw her.
They parked behind the victim, blocking her in and spilled out of their car, surrounding the vehicle as Makoare demanded to know where the money was.
“What happened next must simply have been terrifying,” said Judge Smith.
Some kicked the victim’s car as she sat inside but the defendant was willing to go further.
He jumped on to the roof, causing dents, then smashed the front and rear windscreens as well as a passenger window.
While he used a “butcher-style knife” to slash the car’s tyres, other members of the group tried to drag her through the window by her hair.
They eventually opened the door and pulled her on to the street where she was stomped on at least three times, the court heard.
“In a particularly callous fashion, what you did while she was being assaulted you went through her vehicle,” said the judge.
Makoare stole three handbags, a cellphone and half an ounce of cannabis.
He had initially been locked up over the incidents but later was given electronically monitored bail to live with his father.
Since being there he had got a job and was doing “extraordinarily well”, counsel Cate Andersen said.
While Makoare did not have a long list of convictions, the judge said it was clear his behaviour was escalating in seriousness
She was, however, swayed by the prospect of the defendant turning his life around with his new-found stability.
Makoare was sentenced to eight months’ home detention and 100 hours’ community work.
He was ordered to pay $750 reparation.