Man jailed after using baton to beat man in front of children

When Jimmy Desmond John Lodge was dragged away from his girlfriend’s father after beating him with an extendible baton, he said he did not care about the jail time.

After being sentenced to nearly three years behind bars before the Dunedin District Court yesterday, the 21-year-old may have a different take.

The October attack had ended his relationship of more than two years, the court heard.

His then partner’s family had moved house as a result and had panic buttons installed at the new property, concerned Lodge would follow through on his violent threats.

The defendant had been hosting a party at his home in The Glen and had become "grossly intoxicated", defence counsel Anne Stevens QC said.

The 38-year-old victim, who was also drunk, had been making "sarcastic and demeaning" comments to Lodge throughout the night.

When Lodge fell on the floor, the man poured water on his head.

As soon as it became clear the defendant was going to react angrily, the victim pinned him to the ground.

The pair were eventually separated but exchanged blows in the kitchen.

Others intervened and the victim went home — a brief walk away.

Lodge’s rage multiplied, meanwhile.

He told his girlfriend he was going to "get" the man and did not care there were children in his house.

Lodge punched holes in the wall but the woman would not let him leave, blocking the doorway.

So the defendant smashed his window, grabbed an extendible baton and ran into the night.

He found the victim in his lounge and peppered him with blows.

The man’s children — aged 8 and 11 at the time — saw the episode unfold, the court heard.

One escaped through a window while the other called emergency services.

A party-goer had followed Lodge to the house and prevented any further escalation.

"The defendant was yelling that he was going to kill the victim, that the victim made him do this and when he gets out he is coming for him," a police summary said.

"He stated he didn’t care about jail time."

The victim spent the night in hospital where the lacerations to his head and face were patched up.

In a statement to the court he said he had suffered exhaustion and concussion as a result of the beating and was only cleared to go back to full-time work in April.

He said he had been "terrified" for his children that night and believed he was going to die.

When interviewed about the incident, Lodge said it would not have happened had it not been for his then girlfriend being there.

Judge Michael Turner said his
attempts to deflect the blame did not reflect well on him.

A psychological report raised a slew of issues from which Lodge suffered, much of which stemmed from his own experiences with violence as a child.

Mrs Stevens said her client was a young man who could be rehabilitated and urged the imposition of home detention.

Judge Turner convicted Lodge of injuring with intent to do grievous bodily harm, intentional damage and threatening to kill and imposed two years 11 months’ imprisonment as well as a protection order in favour of the victim.

He ordered the baton be destroyed.

rob.kidd@odt.co.nz