Second teen sentenced for Puzzling World pack attack

Sheridan Foot. Photo: Rob Kidd
Sheridan Foot. Photo: Rob Kidd

A teenager involved in the boozy pack attack of an Australian man at a Wanaka tourist attraction has been sentenced to home detention.

Sheridan Christopher Raynor Foot (18) appeared in the Dunedin District Court this morning on a charge of injuring with intent to injure following a January 20 incident at Puzzling World.

“You were looking for trouble,” Judge Kevin Phillips said.

After Foot's friend, 18-year-old Taylor William Meikle, launched a racist rant against an Indian man and his son in the car park, things escalated.

While the defendants piled into their vehicle to leave the scene, a bystander apologised to the Indian man and an Australian tourist who had heard the commotion arrived on the scene.

The defendants' ute reverse into a parked vehicle and as the man went to check the damage, three of the men piled out of the vehicle.

As the tourist backed off, one of them threw a beer bottle at him, which he evaded.

Foot, Meikle and another man who has denied allegations against him, attacked the victim.

He curled up on the ground while his wife and children watched in horror.

As the assault progressed, she tried to intervene but Meikle pulled her away.

Another of the aggressors told the woman they were not afraid to hit her.

A respite saw the victim pulled to his feet by a bystander but the attack continued.

One of the defendant's ran up to the man from behind and wrestled him to the ground.

Defence counsel Alex Bligh said Foot's involvement was driven by an intention to stop the violence.

Judge Phillips said that may have been the case at the end of the incident but not at the outset.

“You were fully involved at the coal face of this attack,” he said.

The judge said the victim was lucky his injuries were only “moderate”.

The Australian man was left with bruising to his chest and upper body, grazes to his elbows and knees and a sore neck.

Foot, who had no previous convictions, wrote a letter to the court saying it was never his intention to become involved in a brawl that day.

Judge Phillips rejected his claims.

“You say you tried to keep out of it, which isn't the factual basis of the charge or the reality of the situation at all,” he said.

Foot told probation in his pre-sentence interview he made bad decisions when drunk and would never have acted so violently when sober.

He was sentenced to six months' home detention and 150 hours' community work.

Last month, Meikle was sentenced to eight months' home detention, 200 hours' community work and ordered to pay the Australian man $350.

A third defendant has pleaded not guilty to the charge against him and will appear in court in July.

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