Final strike warning, jail for violence

The man had major difficulties made much worse by his drug and alcohol addiction. He also had a major propensity for serious violence, Judge Kevin Phillips said jailing a Balclutha man and giving him a final ''three strikes'' warning.

Taemaro Erihe (23) was before the Dunedin District Court convicted of two offences described by the judge as ''involving high level violent conduct''.

Erihe had admitted causing a man grievous bodily harm with intent to injure him, on March 29; and assaulting another man with intent to injure him, on July 3.

For causing grievous bodily harm with intent to injure, he was sentenced to two years and seven months' jail and given a final strike warning.

For assault with intent to injure, he was sentenced to one year's jail (concurrent). An associated charge of resisting a constable brought one month's jail (also concurrent).

The summary for the March offence said the victim was a special needs male, aged 31.

Erihe and the victim met for the first time at an associate's address on the evening of March 29 and Erihe invited him back to his place.

On the way, Erihe gave the victim money to buy a 12-pack of RTDs for him.

They drank the alcohol at Erihe's place.

Erihe went to sleep in his bed.

The victim went to sleep on the couch.

He woke to Erihe standing over him and punching him about the head and body.

When he finished punching the victim, Erihe turned off the light and got back into his bed.

Police were called the next day after a member of the public saw the two walking down the street and that the victim had a black eye.

The victim's injuries from the assault included an eye fracture and nerve damage. Ongoing treatment would be required.

About 5.15pm on July 3, Erihe was at the second victim's address and was intoxicated.

Erihe began pressuring the victim to buy him cannabis.

When the victim refused, Erihe became angry.

Fearing for his safety, the victim and his girlfriend left.

Erihe followed them down the driveway and challenged the victim to a fight before punching him about 20 times in the head.

After the victim fell, Erihe kicked him three or four times in the head and upper body.

The assault ended when the victim's father arrived and distracted Erihe.

Met a short distance away by police who had been sent to the incident, Erihe resisted arrest.

The victim of the assault sustained a bleeding nose, a bruise to the back of his head, swollen lips, a cut right hand and a sore ankle.

Counsel Ann Leonard said Erihe had serious mental health and alcohol and drug issues. In custody prior to sentence had had a chance to dry out and think about what had happened. He was extremely sorry.

Judge Phillips said both victims were vulnerable and the first victim, because of his disability and being on the couch in Erihe's house, ''extremely vulnerable''.

''He now gets double vision. It has affected his ability to work.''

Erihe was on bail at the time of the July assault. That was an aggravating factor, as was Erihe's past history. Since 2013 he had eight prior convictions for violence, the judge said.

On a further conviction, for being unlawfully in an enclosed yard, at Subway Balclutha, about 6.20pm on June 26, Erihe was given one month's jail (concurrent with his other sentences).

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