Assault victim believes housemates saved his life

A man assaulted by his then-partner in Queenstown on New Year's Day believes he would have been killed if housemates had not intervened.

Jeremy Sean Ithier (25), an Australian national living in Queenstown, was convicted in January after admitting charges of intentionally impeding the normal breathing of Logan Watson by applying pressure to the throat and neck, and assaulting Mr Watson, both in the resort on January 1.

He also admitted charges of threatening Mr Watson and John Gault, using a knife to destroy items of value, and burglary, also in the resort, on January 13.

Ithier appeared for sentencing in the Queenstown District Court on Monday.

The court heard how he was living with Mr Watson at the time of the January 1 offending, when an argument between the pair became physical and housemates had to intervene.

As the victim called police, the defendant punched him twice in the head.

Mr Gault was the principal victim of the offending on January 13, when the defendant went to his home and caused extensive damage.

He smashed the windscreen of a vehicle, destroyed a television, used a knife to damage paintings, ornaments and sheets, and left knives protruding from a soft toy and a headboard.

He scattered clothing throughout the house, the garden and road outside, and wrote rambling messages on walls.

In his victim impact statement, Mr Watson said he believed he would have been killed if he had been home alone on January 1, and that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mr Gault said in his victim impact statement that he had suffered $38,000 in damage to his property, and many "irreplaceable" items had been destroyed.

Judge Callaghan told the defendant his offending had involved a "breach of trust", and the victims had been entitled to feel safe in their own home.

On all charges he sentenced Ithier to 12 months' home detention at a Christchurch property and 150 hours' community work.

For intentionally impeding Mr Watson's breathing, he must pay him $500 reparation for emotional harm. On the burglary charge, he must pay Mr Gault $650 reparation.

Under the terms of his home detention sentence, he must undergo intervention for drug and alcohol issues, complete a stopping violence programme, and must not associate with his victims unless with the written approval of his probation officer.

 

 

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