Man who burgled, strangled ex jailed

Jamahl Uiti-Collins’ victim is ‘‘utterly terrified’’ of him after he twice burgled her home and...
Jamahl Uiti-Collins’ victim is ‘‘utterly terrified’’ of him after he twice burgled her home and strangled her. PHOTO: ROB KIDD
A man who burgled his ex-partner’s home twice in four days, strangled her and scattered her clothes around the neighbourhood has been jailed for two years.

Jamahl Moanaroa Uiti-Collins (30) may not be behind bars for long, however, the Dunedin District Court heard yesterday.

Judge Emma Smith gave the defendant leave to apply for home detention if he could arrange an appropriate address.

Uiti-Collins, who had a significant criminal history, said he was determined to turn his back on his anti-social lifestyle.

The judge said she was "not cynical but hesitant" about the claim.

On June 20, while the victim was staying with friends, Uiti-Collins used a key to get into her Dunedin home.

He removed all her clothes — worth thousands of dollars — from her bedroom and dumped them on the street a block away.

It was only when the woman returned the next day for a shower and went to get dressed that she discovered the burglary had taken place.

She confronted Uiti-Collins at his workplace the following day, the court heard, and he confirmed where he had discarded the garments.

Though the victim was able to regather her possessions, the man’s desire to hurt her had not been sated.

On June 24, Uiti-Collins let himself into the house again.

When his ex-partner got out of the shower, she found him going through her belongings.

Fearing for her safety, the woman tried to wrestle her phone from the defendant so she could call police.

Uiti-Collins refused to surrender it and the woman ended up naked on the floor, desperately trying to grab it, court documents said.

He put the victim in a "choke hold", making it difficult for her to breathe for up to 30 seconds.

Uiti-Collins released her, but only temporarily.

He readjusted, covering the woman’s nose and mouth, cutting off her air supply for 10 seconds, the court heard.

It was only when she threw the phone into the kitchen that the defendant let her go.

She grabbed a jacket and fled to a neighbour’s house.

When Uiti-Collins was interviewed by police, he said it "wasn’t a big deal".

Counsel Alan de Jager said his client now accepted full responsibility and wished to convey his "heartfelt apology" to his ex-girlfriend.

"She is utterly terrified of you," Judge Smith said.

The judge acknowledged Uiti-Collins had grown up in a gang environment but he had strong role models in his mother and father who had since moved on.

The defendant, who was also convicted on two drink-driving charges, was ordered to pay his victim $1000 and a protection order was granted in her favour.

rob.kidd@odt.co.nz

 

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