Lenient home invasion sentence strengthened
HUTT VALLEY REPORTER
A woman who helped break into a home and beat up her ex-partner's new girlfriend is being sent to prison after her "manifestly inadequate" sentence of home detention was overturned.
Sharlena Tamatea was given nine months' home detention and 180 hours' community work by Wellington District Court Judge Bruce Davidson after the July 2011 attack.
Tamatea, her sister Sansan Turi and two unknown males went to the Stokes Valley home of Tamatea's former partner, kicked in the front door and forced the bedroom door off its hinges.
Tamatea and Turi verbally abused the victim and repeatedly punched and kicked her in the head and upper body as she lay naked on the bed.
Turi also took a beer bottle from the kitchen and hit the victim's head and upper body.
The ex-partner managed to escape and call police.
The victim received a cut to her forehead, bruising to her head, and injuries to her right hand, arms and legs.
Ms Turi pleaded guilty to burglary and injuring with intent to injure for her role in the attack
Judge Davidson found home detention was an appropriate sentence, due to Tamatea's compliance with bail, family support and childcare commitments.
However the Solicitor-General went to the Court of Appeal on the grounds the sentence was too lenient.
The Court of Appeal agreed.
In a decision released yesterday, the sentence was described as "manifestly inadequate".
It found Tamatea's actions "were at the more serious end of the range of offending".
They included unlawful group entry into a dwelling at night, a sense of violation and insecurity for the victims, and an attack on a naked woman which left her with "relatively significant injuries".
Tamatea's sentence of home detention was vacated, and replaced with two years eight months' imprisonment.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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