Resentenced for three assaults

A man who had a discharge without conviction for assaulting his wife, daughter and an associate overturned by the High Court has been ordered to pay $3000 in emotional harm reparation.

The 58-year-old, granted final name suppression, was also fined $300 and ordered to pay $130 court costs at his resentencing before Judge Alistair Garland in the Queenstown District Court yesterday.

The man was granted a discharge without conviction by Judge John Brandts-Giesen in the Queenstown District Court in December. However, that was appealed by police in January.

Following a hearing in the High Court at Invercargill in March, Justice David Gendall entered convictions on all three charges.

Yesterday Judge Garland said he had been ``struck'' by the ``downstream consequences'' of the offending for the victims and the defendant's family.

The consequences had been ``extensive'' both in terms of the physical harm at the time and the emotional harm caused since by media attention and the man's three court appearances.

Judge Garland said references indicated the situation had been ``blown out of all proportion''.

``One has to put that in perspective in terms of the concern from the community about domestic violence.''

On September 14 the man was socialising in Queenstown with his wife, an associate and daughter, when he discovered text messages between his associate and wife declaring their love for each other.

The man left the bar but encountered them soon after in the CBD when he immediately approached the male victim, pushed him against a pole and held him there.

They struggled and ended up on the ground before the man's daughter tried to separate them.

He grabbed her by the throat, pushed her to the ground and held her there, his hand preventing her from breathing, causing bruising to her neck.

The two men continued pushing and shoving each other before a group of people intervened, including the defendant's wife and daughter.

The defendant put his boot up and kicked his wife in the ribs, causing her to fall backwards and receive minor injuries.

When spoken to by police, he said he was ``cross'' and ``wanted to get'' the male associate.

He could not remember assaulting his wife or daughter.

Referring to Justice Gendall's decision, Judge Garland said while the views of the victims did have some effect on the court's response, ``they cannot excuse what was in reality a nasty and violent assault against three people''.

While they were serious assaults and one included a degree of strangulation, there were no personal aggravating factors.

The man entered guilty pleas at an early stage, had no prior convictions and was otherwise of good character.

Both his wife and daughter believed the offending was ``completely out of character'' and both expressed their ``understanding and forgiveness''.

``You and your wife had engaged in relationship counselling and I can tell you are both committed to continuing your relationship.''

The man was ordered to pay emotional harm reparation of $2000 to his daughter and $1000 to his wife. The fine and costs were imposed for assaulting the male.


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