Supportive partner at risk - judge

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 12:00 29/01/2013

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The victim of a serial domestic abuser has been warned that she remains at risk until she leaves her partner.

In the Feilding District Court yesterday, Takerei Wiki Rikihana, of Otaki, was sent to prison for 16 months by Judge Gregory Ross.

Rikihana had admitted one charge of male assaults female and one of breaching a protection order after an incident with his partner in September.

Judge Ross said Rikihana's previous convictions included "a host" of charges for breaching sentences and domestic assaults.

The judge warned Rikihana's partner, who was in court yesterday supporting him, that she was "at continued risk" in what seemed to be a harmful relationship.

"The parties don't seem to be able to live together for any significant amount of time without police intervention."

The latest incident had occurred "as a result of aggressive and explosive anger on [Rikihana's] part", Judge Ross said.

"The couple have had a row over something that was a trivial domestic issue of housework."

His partner left the room and was followed by Rikihana.

"He pushed her on to a chair and held her by the neck and started to push his thumbs into her throat, and she felt like she was losing consciousness," Judge Ross said.

Rikihana released his grip and the woman escaped and sought help from a neighbour.

"There were marks seen on her neck and there was some real fear from her point of view that she was going to lose consciousness," Judge Ross said.

Defence lawyer Mike Ryan said Rikihana was remorseful and had written two letters while on remand expressing his remorse.

In prison for several weeks while the matter was before the courts, Rikihana had missed several family occasions including his daughter's first birthday and Christmas, Mr Ryan said.

Judge Ross said it "goes without saying" that offending that landed someone in prison would mean they missed family occasions.

Mr Ryan said Rikihana's family had a background of work in the food industry and he had hoped to train at UCOL as a chef.

Those plans will have to wait, however, as Judge Ross said imprisonment was the only sentencing option open to him.

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- Manawatu Standard

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