Christchurch homeowner 'snaps' and punches contractor trimming trees

The Christchurch man punched a contractor over tree-trimming. Photo: Google
The Christchurch man punched a contractor over tree-trimming. Photo: Google
A Christchurch homeowner furious that a power line company was cutting his trees snapped and knocked a contractor to the ground.

The 46-year-old man had an arrangement with electrical lines company Orion that he would pay for his own contractors to keep his trees trimmed to an appropriate height, thinking they did a better job.

And so on July 10 last year when he saw a team of workers "hacking down his hedge", he was outraged.

A court heard the man, who the New Zealand Herald has chosen not to name, "clearly … did not mince his words" when he approached the workers, yelling at them to stop.

He called one of the men a "f****** Pom" and went to his vehicle with the thought of collecting the contractor's details.

But as he walked away, he thought he caught the man gesturing and calling him a "w*****" - something the contractor denied.

He stormed back with his fists clenched and during a scuffle, punched the man in the head.

The blow knocked him to the ground.

He tried hitting him again and no further punches connected.

The victim ended up with a large gash on his lip that required stitches. He was also about to get married and felt "embarrassed and frustrated" over the attack.

The homeowner was charged with intentionally injuring the contractor – a serious charge that carries a maximum sentence of five years' imprisonment.

He pleaded not guilty and during a jury trial argued that he was acting in self-defence.

However, he was found guilty – and when he was sentenced at Christchurch District Court on Friday, Judge Alistair Garland agreed with the jury's decision.

The judge said the contractor was just doing his job and it wasn't his responsibility to the homeowner that the trees were being trimmed.

The man was sentenced to 200 hours of community work and ordered to pay the victim $1000 for emotional harm.

Add a Comment

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