Chch man jailed for ‘merciless’ beatings of teen partner

A judge has told a man who beat his partner to the point of intentionally breaking her bones and...
A judge has told a man who beat his partner to the point of intentionally breaking her bones and causing her a brain bleed that he should wear a sign around his neck saying 'dangerous' as he jailed him for 10 years. Photo: Getty Images
WARNING: This article discusses serious domestic violence and may be distressing.

"You should have a big sign around your neck saying dangerous."

That’s what a judge told a violent abuser who beat his teenage partner so often, including whipping her with an extension cord and intentionally breaking her bones, that she is now left with half a paralysed face.

The teen became so normalised to Jacob Waa’s brutal beatings, which he called "conditioning", that doctors were surprised at how responsive she was after an incident that left her with a brain bleed.

Waa, almost 30, appeared at Christchurch District Court on Tuesday for sentencing on a raft of violence charges including wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, wounding and assaulting with intent to injure and impeding breathing.

‘A normal Tuesday’

In a victim impact statement read by Judge Tony Greig, the teen, who is no longer in a relationship with Waa, said her only goal in life was to be a mother but now she doesn’t want to have kids due to the trauma from losing her child at nine weeks from Waa’s abuse.

"I feel as though that night he killed my soul.

"I knew that if I didn’t leave then and get help, he was going to kill me."

The teen said doctors told her she was lucky to be alive and they couldn’t understand how she was so responsive but to her it just felt like a "normal Tuesday".

"I thought I was fine. I wasn’t new to him beating me up so I knew I could handle a lot more."

The teen said the right side of her face is paralysed and she can’t be around bright lights as it gives her headaches. She also can’t sleep and constantly relives Waa’s attacks through nightmares.

She said when she told Waa she was pressing charges he laughed and said going "back inside" only makes him worse.

She said he used to call his brutal beatings "conditioning" and said on one occasion he beat her for "10 hours straight" but later nurtured her and laughed about it.

She said his guilty pleas weren’t because he was sorry, but because he wanted a lighter sentence.

The beatings

According to the summary of facts, Waa went to a motel in Christchurch with the teen who began unloading her car. Waa punched her in the face, causing her front tooth to become dislodged and told her to get in the car or he would put her in the boot.

Waa then drove the teen around the neighbourhood while repeatedly punching her in the head. She later required hospital treatment.

During another attack, while the pair were living in a sleepout in Christchurch, they began arguing and Waa punched the teen in the head several times.

He hit her around the shoulders and dragged her out onto the driveway, telling her to leave. When she asked if she could collect her belongings Waa pushed her against the fence and punched her in the head several times, causing her to lose consciousness.

He then dragged her by the hair and told her to go to hospital. She suffered a fractured skull and cuts to her face.

On another occasion, Waa began arguing with the teen while he was driving them home. He kicked her out of the car, demanding she walk home.

Later when he arrived home, he pushed her to the ground and kicked her in the head several times while wearing steel-cap boots, causing her to suffer ongoing headaches.

A few months later, Waa was living at an address in Dunedin and the teen went to visit when issues around infidelity arose.

Waa told the teen if she didn’t get an abortion, he would stomp on her stomach and he began punching her in the head and slapping her arms and legs.

He then punched her in the stomach, stating he wasn’t afraid to hit her while she was pregnant because he didn’t want the baby. When the teen was gathering her belongings to leave Waa began strangling her.

Weeks later, when Waa became aware the teen had announced she was pregnant on Facebook, he was furious and punched her on her shoulders and thighs and pulled her hair.

During another argument about infidelity while the pair were at Waa’s flat in Dunedin, Waa began punching the teen in the face.

When she failed to answer questions about their relationship, Waa grabbed her by the hair, pulled her head back and then thrust it into his knee, breaking her nose, causing it to bleed profusely.

He then whipped her back several times with an extension cord, drawing blood. The teen begged him to stop but he said he would only stop if she answered his questions before threatening to break her fingers. She suffered cuts to her back, bruising to her face and a broken nose.

On the final attack, Waa arrived at his flat in Dunedin around 3.30am after a night of drinking. When the teen opened the door, Waa pushed her to the ground before punching and headbutting her several times.

He then grabbed her by the hair and dragged her into a bedroom, locking the door behind him.

He threw her to the ground and continued the assault, pinching and biting her arms and legs, picking her up by the hair and throwing her into the wall several times.

Waa grabbed the teen by her throat and dug his fingers in, cutting off her breathing and told her he was going to go to jail for killing her.

He then put her right arm between his legs and bent it back, causing her wrist to break before trying to do the same to the other arm.

He kicked and stomped on her head until she lost consciousness for a short period, only stopping the beating when he became tired and fell asleep.

When the teen was sure Waa was asleep, she fled to hospital. She suffered a brain bleed, a liver laceration, multiple facial fractures, a broken wrist, six to eight fractured ribs, scratch marks on her neck and extensive bruising to her body and face.

When police outlined what Waa had done, he responded, "Is that all?"

‘I would be wary about letting you anywhere near children’

Judge Greig said the teen could have been killed by Waa and he treated her in an incredibly "cruel, barbaric and merciless" way.

The judge said Waa grew up in a violent household and ran away from home at a young age before joining the Mongrel Mob, but later left the gang as he wanted to be a father to his children.

"I would be wary about letting you anywhere near children," Judge Greig told him.

"You should have a big sign around your neck saying dangerous."

A support letter provided to the court described Waa as a kind, caring and loving person who was genuine, something Judge Greig said he "couldn’t understand".

Judge Greig gave Waa discounts for his early guilty pleas but refused to give him discounts for remorse and sentenced him to 10 years’ imprisonment.

 - Emily Moorhouse, Open Justice reporter 


How to get help: If you're in danger now: • Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours or friends to ring for you.
• Run outside and head for where there are other people. Scream for help so your neighbours can hear you.
• Take the children with you. Don't stop to get anything else.
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay.
Where to go for help or more information:
• Women's Refuge: Crisis line - 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 (available 24/7)
• Shine: Helpline - 0508 744 633 (available 24/7)
• It's Not Ok: Family violence information line - 0800 456 450
• Shakti: Specialist services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and children.
• Crisis line - 0800 742 584 (available 24/7)