Man sentenced for punching boy

01:40, Jan 23 2013

A man who punched a 5-year-old boy in the face has escaped prison, less than one year after he was sentenced to five months' jail for a December 2011 attack of ''appalling savagery'' which left a man unconscious and with serious facial injuries. 

Carlos Arkinas Patangata, 21, appeared before Judge Brian Callaghan in Kaikoura District Court on Friday and pleaded guilty to a charge of assault on a child on October 9.  

He had already admitted an earlier charge of assault and one of resisting arrest following an incident on August 25. Judge Callaghan sentenced Patangata to 160 hours' community work and 12 months' intensive supervision. He warned Patangata if he re-offended, he may have to return to court for resentencing. The judge said it did not look good that all the incidents had happened while Patangata was on release conditions for the  serious assault in December 2011.

Given his upbringing and background one might think it was not overly surprising that Patangata had ended up in court  but since October he had largely shown he could be trusted, Judge Callaghan said.''I think there is every hope that you are changing your life and becoming a good member of community and society. It would be turning back the clock to sentence you to prison.''Judge Callaghan said the assault on the child as well as an earlier assault on his former partner in which he dragged her down the street, prompting members of the public to step in, had occurred while he was on release conditions.

The earlier assaultled to a charge of resisting arrest when he smashed a shop window and a police patrol car windscreen as police tried to arrest him.According to the summary of facts, Patangata had been play-fighting with the 5-year-old when he lost his temper, punching him on the left side of his face and causing a cut and bruising. 

Defence Rob Harrison said Patangata clearly had an issue with alcohol which he had been trying to address. He had been through a number of programmes, he said. His upbringing was a factor in his offending, however he had been starting to feel much better about himself since the latest residential rehabilitation course. He was now beginning to see alternatives.

Patangata was extremely remorseful for striking the young boy.Patangata told Judge Callaghan it had been 21/2 months since he had taken drugs or consumed alcohol and he was now feeling clear-headed


Kaikoura Star