Prisoner who scarred three in bar refused parole

A former Otago student who wounded three people in a bar attack has been refused parole because he requires more treatment in prison.

Sammy Ayoun Soud (23) was sentenced to two and a-half years’ imprisonment when he came before the Dunedin District Court, prompting an outpouring of emotion from his parents.

They left court speaking loudly of "QCs".

Counsel Marie Dyhrberg QC, of Auckland, successfully argued in the Court of Appeal the sentence was too harsh.

But her suggestion Ayoun Soud should have received home detention was rejected.

A prison sentence of two years one month replaced the previous penalty — meaning the defendant was eligible for parole last month.

Ms Dyhrberg told the Parole Board her client could safely be released because he had been accepted into an intensive 30-day residential rehabilitation programme.

However, panel convener Neville Trendle said that was not an adequate substitute for the drug treatment programme which Ayoun Soud was undertaking while at Spring Hill Prison.

The defendant pleaded guilty to charges of wounding with intent to injure and wounding with reckless disregard following a bloody incident on August 2, 2018.

Ayoun Soud had joined 250 other students attending a gig at the Fifty Gorillas, a bar in Princes St, when he became involved in a shoving match with another reveller.

The first victim approached Ayoun Soud and asked if he was "all good" once things seemed to have calmed.

The defendant raised his glass and smashed it into the left side of the man’s face.

The leftover shards, he flung at the victim’s friends who were standing nearby.

They hit a second man in the face and fragments struck a woman in the chin.

All three were left with permanent scarring as a result of Ayou Soud’s outburst, the court heard at sentencing.

The defendant had completed 12 of 23 scheduled counselling sessions while behind bars, the Parole Board heard.

"There is, however, a crucial step remaining on the present phase of the drug treatment programme that provides the framework for Mr Ayoun Soud’s safe release and that is the preparation of his relapse prevention plan," Mr Trendle said.

"We have reflected on whether, in view of the intensity of the programme he has been accepted for, that step can be dispensed with, but we have concluded that he should complete it first."

Ayoun Soud will come back before the board on December 7.






Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter