Call for appeal of Delegat sentence

Nikolas Delegat. Photo ODT
Nikolas Delegat. Photo ODT
Labour's police spokesman Stuart Nash says the Government should tell the Crown Law Office to appeal the "ridiculously light" sentence handed down to Nikolas Delegat for assaulting a policewoman.

Nikolas James Posa Delegat (19) was sentenced to 300 hours community work for the assault, 100 hours for assaulting a campus watch officer, 60 hours for wilful damage, and 60 hours for resisting arrest. He has also been ordered to pay $5000 reparation to the police officer he punched, Constable Alana Kane.

Nash said Prime Minister John Key said in 2010 the Government had a duty to send the message attacks on police officers were unacceptable but he had been silent on the Delegat case.

"An attack on a policewoman who was assaulted so badly she was on sick leave for two months warrants a jail term, not continued silence from the Government.

"The Prime Minister and the Police Minister must come out and condemn the sentence as totally inadequate and state that Crown Law will appeal. This would send a very clear message that this type of behaviour, against police will not be tolerated by our communities and offenders will be punished accordingly."

He said Police Minister Judith Collins should be asking why Delegat was charged with assault instead of aggravated assault.

"The proper charge for punching a police officer is not plain assault, but aggravated assault, which includes attacking an officer in the line of duty and carries a maximum jail term of three years."

In 2010, Collins passed legislation that made assault of a police officer an aggravating factor in sentencing. She described attacks on police or Corrections officers as "an attack on the community and the rule of law".

Delegat, a student at the University of Otago, attacked and knocked Kane unconscious and assaulted a Campus Watch staff member during a drunken scuffle outside Starters Bar, in Frederick St, in March last year.

Delegat is the son of Jakov "Jim" Delegat and wife Kate.

A spokeswoman for Collins said she could not comment on judicial decisions.

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