Taieri 'rampage' brings nine months' home detention

A man  who held his girlfriend in a car and ``rampaged'' his way round Dunedin will return to Auckland after coming south for a fresh start.

Abe Nigel John Ross (33), also known as Matthew Nigel John Wilcox, was now keen to reconnect with his family in the North Island and get back to church, defence counsel Debbie Ericsson said.

Had it not been for his mother - who was at the Dunedin District Court for his sentencing last week - the roofer would have been imprisoned, Judge Kevin Phillips said.

He sentenced Ross to nine months' home detention to the woman's Browns Bay home.

During his stint in Dunedin, which Ms Ericsson said had been to escape the toxic relationship, he added nine convictions to his record in a matter of months.

The court heard how the defendant first clashed with his 18-year-old girlfriend at a birthday party in March.

After the woman accidentally locked the keys in Ross' car, he smashed a mirror in her bedroom and pushed her to the ground.

He then threw himself into the walls, causing a large hole, and smashed the victim's phone.

When Ross heard police had been called, he told her: ``If I go to prison you and your family better watch your back.''

In a statement before the court, the victim said the incident had upset her but what happened on June 22 had her scared for her life.

While on bail Ross was ordered not to associate with the teen and not to consume alcohol, among other conditions.

In breach of that, he was living with the victim and boozing with friends.

A heated argument with those at the gathering led to Ross being kicked out.

He video-called his then partner ``smashing his whole body against the door'' to her home before returning to pick her up from the original address.

As she prepared to leave, she could not find her shoes; Ross had thrown them on the roof.

He sped off with the shoeless victim, telling her ``I won't let you out''.

First he drove to a Dunedin house yelling at the woman that he would smash the people inside and make her watch.

The terrified victim repeatedly begged Ross to take her home.

He then sped towards Mosgiel, his rage increasing with his speed.

The court heard Ross punched the windscreen of the car, causing it to smash, while continuously abusing the teenager.

The ordeal ended when the man drove down a dead-end street in East Taieri and stopped.

He snatched the woman's cellphone from her grasp, then deliberately drove into a ditch.

The victim sounded the horn to alert people's attention before fleeing the scene.

Judge Phillips said the defendant should have been charged at a much higher level.

``You kidnapped the victim, holding her in your vehicle, as you rampaged your way through the Taieri area,'' he said.

As well as the home-detention term, the judge sentenced Ross to 200 hours' community work, $2127 reparation and banned him from driving for nine months.

rob.kidd@odt.co.nz


 

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