Attack leads to 14 months of terror

Tamakaimoana Hune, who appeared in court by video link from prison, was sentenced to six months’...
Tamakaimoana Hune, who appeared in court by video link from prison, was sentenced to six months’ home detention. PHOTO: ROB KIDD
A man's obsession led to him attacking a bar worker, leaving her scared to leave the house alone for 14 months, a court has heard.

Tamakaimoana Hune, 22, came to Dunedin from Auckland last year with a clean criminal record — he will leave with 10 convictions.

His spree of offences began with him lifting a woman off the ground by her crotch and ended with him committing a lewd act in a police cell four months later.

In the weeks leading up to September last year, Hune had repeatedly visited a central Dunedin bar where he made flirtatious advances towards one of the workers.

She politely declined and repeatedly told the defendant she had a partner.

It did not stop him pursuing the woman through social media, prompting her to block his accounts, nor did it deter him from further attempts to woo her.

"I felt like a piece of meat that was being sized up," the victim told the court in a statement.

Though Hune was banned from the bar, he was relentless.

On September 10, he approached the woman and told her she was coming home with him.

When she again rejected Hune, he lashed out.

"He grabbed me by the vagina with such force that I swear my feet left the ground," she said.

When she swore at Hune, he punched her in the stomach.

And still the victim’s ordeal was not over. The defendant returned to the bar a couple of months later and it took four security staff to remove him, and half a dozen police to subdue him outside.

The victim told the court the experience transformed her from an outgoing person into a recluse, reliant on others to feel safe.

"It was like my independence was ripped from me without having any say at all."

After 14 months of fear, the woman took a momentous trip to the beach last week — her first solo outing since the attack.

"I hope you never have the opportunity to make another woman as unsafe in their own skin like you've done to me and I hope I never have to encounter you again," she said.

Hune was also convicted of damaging a South Dunedin home, burgling a discount store twice in a week and making off with more than $2000 of items, and ripping up the seat of a police car as he was taken to prison.

Counsel Andrew Dawson said his client was suffering a mental-health episode, exacerbated by substance abuse, during his final rampage on January 19.

Hune was "dancing" around High St in only a pair of grey trackpants, causing vehicles to swerve around him, the court heard.

Police were called after he pulled down his pants and exposed himself to motorists.

After a violent scuffle with officers at the scene, the bizarre behaviour continued back at the station.

Court documents described Hune pacing around the holding cell performing a sex act on himself before "looking directly at the constable" as he completed it.

He later explained it was "a cultural thing".

"Once seen, that cannot be unseen," Judge Michael Turner said.

Hune was sentenced to six months’ home detention, to be served in Auckland.

rob.kidd@odt.co.nz

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