Back inside: Violent offender behind good Samaritan attack jailed

Lucy Knight. Photo: Supplied
Lucy Knight. Photo: Supplied
A violent offender who attacked good Samaritan Lucy Knight as she intervened during a bag snatch outside a supermarket in 2014 is back behind bars.

Hendrix Hauwai avoided jail for stealing cars in Christchurch in August.

But on the first day of his home detention sentence, he went walkabout and has now been sent back to jail.

Hauwai was 17 when he was jailed for punching Knight in the back of the head as she tried to stop him from stealing another woman's handbag outside Countdown at the Northcote shopping centre.

The blow sent Knight, a mother of six, to the ground fracturing her skull.

She needed an operation to remove a piece of her skull to relieve the pressure caused by the bleeding, and another to replace the missing bone with a titanium plate.

Hauwai was declined parole a number of times before he was released from prison.

Now 23 and with multiple facial tattoos, he has been back before the court in Christchurch for more offending.

On August 7 this year, he was sentenced to nine months' home detention with six months of post-detention conditions after being convicted of theft, dangerous driving, two counts of unlawful taking a motor vehicle, theft of a motor vehicles, failing to stop and possession of instruments for conversion.

But three days later, on the first day he was full-inducted to his sentence of home detention, he asked for a leave of absence from 3.30pm to 5pm to go to the Work and Income office.

It was approved, a court heard, and Hauwai set off, but then claimed the office was shut when he got there.

He swung by his mother's house to pick up ID, he said, and then got held up in traffic on his way home in Aranui.

It meant he was half an hour late – and phoned the probation after hours service, who warned him not to go anywhere else.

But at 6.09pm, he took off again.

Data from the electronic tracking device Hauwai was wearing as part of his sentence, shows he was driven to Hornby and dropped off.

Between 6.35pm and 7.38pm, he visited four addresses.

It's not clear what he was doing.

Data shows he was picked up again and taken back to the eastern side of town before being dropped off outside the Christchurch central police station where he was arrested.

At Christchurch District Court on Friday, he admitted breaching home detention conditions.

Corrections applied to have his home detention sentence cancelled and for Hauwai to be sent back to prison.

They had "no confidence" that he would abide by any further electronic monitoring – saying he'd done the same thing and removed his tracker while on parole for his sentence of wounding with intent. Corrections believed he was at high risk of reoffending.

His lawyer said Hauwai had spent his formative years in custody.

He was finding his transition back into the community difficult, the court heard.

Hauwai asked for another chance, saying home detention was too restrictive and meant he ended up "getting too much inside his own head". His lawyer suggested a sentence of community detention might be a better option.

But Judge Alistair Garland was "skeptical" about his commitment to change.

He cancelled the sentence of home detention and sentenced him again on all charges, including the breach, to 18 months' imprisonment.

Life of crime - Hauwai's life of offending

When he was jailed for the attack on Knight in Auckland Hauwai was also convicted for an earlier assault in Manurewa and another bag snatch in East Tamaki.

The court heard at the time that the spate of offences happened just days after Hauwai's mother abandoned him and his younger sister - leaving the pair to fend for themselves "with no food or support".

Hauwai told police and a psychiatrist that his "primary motive" in the robberies was "to obtain money to buy food" for himself and his sibling.

Judge Philippa Sinclair said Hauwai's life- to that point - had been one of "considerable parental neglect and abandonment".

He had no contact from birth with his father, who lives in Rarotonga, and had been raised by his mother and step-father.

She described the attack on Knight as a "deliberate, powerful and gratuitous punch" that was "delivered with force".

No parole - 'worrying' offender too much of a risk

Hauwai first appeared before the Parole Board in 2016 when he was 19.

By then he had completed a "short motivational programme" that he told the board had been "worthwhile".

The board said given his offending history - some of which cannot be reported - more work was required around his rehabilitation.

"His concerns to date have been exposure to other gang influences and he says he is trying to distance himself from the Killer Beez, which he was part of at the time of his offending," the 2016 Parole Board report stated.

"He acknowledges drug and alcohol problems prior to coming to prison.

"In our view it is important that a significant rehabilitation programme be put in place as soon as possible.

"On that basis parole is declined as there are clear risk issues which have not yet been addressed."

He was refused parole again in 2017.

The board said Hauwai, then 20, was still a risk to public safety.

"The offences involved a series of street robberies of women who were targeted by Mr Hauwai evidently for their vulnerability," they said.

"Some victims were violently attacked and suffered injuries and in one case very serious injuries including a skull fracture, the victim having been subjected to a sustained and very violent attack by the prisoner after she had been knocked to the ground.

"This young man presents a very worrying profile and we think it imperative that he be seen by the psychologist and assessed at some length in order to ensure the programmes which are in his sentence plan are going to be effective for him."

They said Hauwai was two months into a rehabilitation programme.

Hauwai was "initially reticent" to speak to the board but as the hearing progressed, "gave quite a good account of himself".

"He was unable to give any rationale for his offending," the 2017 report said.

"It does not appear to have been drug related and while the motivation for the robberies may perhaps be evident enough, the gratuitous violence is difficult to understand and that needs, we think, to be the focus of a probing inquiry by the psychologist.

"With those thoughts in mind we are satisfied that parole today would be manifestly premature and parole is declined."






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