Pair convicted of assault with intent to injure

Halloween celebrations ended in assault convictions for two Dunedin men who filmed an altercation while dressed in hospital scrubs costumes.

Rewi Samuel Lawrence (30) and Vincent Uriam Lucas (28) appeared for sentence in the Dunedin District Court after admitting assaulting a man with intent to injure.

At a jury trial in September, a second joint charge of assault with intent to injure was dropped, and a charge of male assaults female against Lawrence was withdrawn.

The pair pleaded guilty to the remaining assault with intent to injure charge on the third day of the trial.

Judge Kevin Phillips said yesterday the pair had been going to and from the victim's apartment in central Dunedin on October 29 last year, and while there Lawrence verbally abused the victim's girlfriend before being asked to leave.

A police summary of facts said the heavily intoxicated woman was "angry and abusive" towards them, but the victim and his friend tried to stop her chasing them.

Lawrence filmed her reaction on his iPhone and continued taunting her. She broke free and scratched Lawrence with her fingernails.

When the victim followed, saying he wanted to talk, Lawrence gave his iPhone to Lucas and punched the victim's head, shoulder and arms.

Lucas also punched the victim.

When he tried to retreat, the pair followed him into his apartment.

They punched him while he was on the ground, and Lucas stomped on him, until a male neighbour intervened. When police arrived they found a scrubs top between parked cars on the street, and a cap lying on the ground.

Judge Phillips said considering the way Lawrence goaded the woman, he did not accept Lawrence was provoked by the scratch.

"You had every opportunity, both of you, to walk away."

The pair were stopped by police in nearby Queens Garden about 12.25am. Lawrence was driving, and had no shirt on.

A test revealed his blood alcohol level was 130mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 50mg.

Lawrence was sentenced to 300 hours' community work and ordered to pay reparation of $630 and an emotional harm payment of $1000. He was also disqualified from driving for six months. Lucas was sentenced to three months' community detention and 100 hours' community work, and ordered to pay the same amount in emotional harm and reparation.

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