Teenage murderer denied sentence appeal over concerns he has FASD

Elias Pomare was declined a sentence reduction by the Court of Appeal, after he plead guilty to the murder of a ...
FAIRFAX NZ

Elias Pomare was declined a sentence reduction by the Court of Appeal, after he plead guilty to the murder of a Whangarei man.

A teenage killer has failed to get his jail term reduced after his lawyer argued his Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) was a mitigating factor in his sentencing. 

Elias Pomare, then 17, last year plead guilty to the murder of Whangarei father Michael Patrick Griffin, 56, whose killing was described by prosecutors as unprovoked, brutal and callous. 

Griffin, who was partially paralysed, was doing some work on his property in October 2014 when he was attacked by Pomare and Shayden Perkinson.

​Griffin was hit on the head with a weapon, fracturing his skull. 

READ MORE: Man dead after attack at house

Pomare and Perkinson then set about spray painting the walls of Griffins' home and ransacking the property, before stealing two bikes and a laptop. 

The weapon was never identified and the reason for the attack was never explained. 

Experts later told sentencing judge, Justice Edwin Wylie, Pomare had just been diagnosed with FASD, which was said to increase his propensity for impulsive criminal behaviour, and his vulnerability. 

Justice Wylie acknowledged those factors, but said it didn't make the prison sentence unduly harsh, and that Pomare had failed to show any remorse for his crimes. 

He jailed him for life with a minimum non-parole period of 12 years. 

Ad Feedback

At the Court of Appeal, Pomare's lawyer, Lucy Postlewaight, argued FASD-induced brain damage was recognised as a "strong mitigating factor" in sentencing, and that Pomare's diagnosis explained his late guilty plea, and his apparent lack of remorse. 

She said he was more vulnerable to the negative effects of a lengthy prison sentence.

Pomare had been exposed to his mother's alcohol abuse and had behavioural problems throughout his childhood which included drug abuse. 

Medical experts said he had a significant brain dysfunction,and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. 

Twelve years was a "significantly long term of imprisonment for an offender with Mr Pomare's traits," the appeal court was told.

This was emphasised by expert opinion from specialist psychologists who said prison was a harsher place for people with disabilities. 

One expert said Pomare had "expressed a genuine sorrow and heartfelt regret for his causing the death" of Griffin. 

In an appeal hearing heard in April, the Court ruled that although Justice Wylie could have given a bigger discount for Pomare's background, and had erred in not taking into sufficient consideration Pomare's expressions of remorse, it declined to change the sentence. 

"The objective seriousness of the offending must be considered," the court said in its judgment, released Wednesday. 

"This was a brutal and callous murder...involving a particularly vulnerable victim and aspects of unlawful entry into a property. An initial starting point for offending of this kind by a healthy adult could have been as high as 19 years.

"While Mr Pomare's culpability is reduced because of his FASD and youth, and recognition must be given to the harsh effect prison may have on him, a final (non parole period) of 12 years is not manifestly excessive." 

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

New boss as Stride Property

Philip Littlewood has been appointed chief executive of Stride Property Group.

Listed property firm appoints Philip Littlewood as chief executive.

Govt skips sugar tax debate

Our politicians can't agree on whether to introduce a tax on sugary drinks.

There was a debate on whether we should tax sugar... and the Government was nowhere in sight.

Helping ex-prisoners break cycle

Giving prisoners a chance are Department of Corrections' community employment and education officer Stephen Hemara, ...

One company has hired seven ex-prisoners and says they are "just people" who deserve a chance.

Tsunami would hit thousands

Auckland Council has $2.72 million in capital funding in the Long Term Plan for public alerting systems such as sirens.

Thousands of people would be affected if a tsunami hit popular beaches to Auckland's north.

Wellington

Ticket scalpers on notice

Westpac Stadium chief executive Shane Harmon says the pitch is in "perfect condition" ahead of Tuesday's Lions encounter ...

Wellington stadium boss talks tough on illegal ticket sales ahead of Lions' double-header.

Tyre slasher out of jail

Miramar tyre slasher David Francis Johns has successfully appealed his jail term and is to be released.

He slashed the tyres of more than 100 cars, but judge puts him back on the road.

Welcome to NZ: Here's a $200 fine

Dave and Viv Perry were fined $200 for breaching Napier City Council's freedom camping bylaw, despite making "a real ...

Council official had a rude awakening for Lions fans who thought they'd obeyed rules.

Begging a 'fundamental freedom' video

Myles Hemopo, one of three Napier men to have been charged in connection with begging in the city.

Napier's ban on begging is a "violation" of the Bill of Rights, beggars' lawyer says.

Canterbury

'Nasty' comments plague police FB

Police use Facebook to find suspects, fugitives and missing people, but "nasty" comments plague their pages.

Posts about suspects have become the modern equivalent of 1900's "freak shows", expert says.

Bain camp to get rifle

Pathologist Alexander Dempster, at David Bain's trial in 2009, demonstrates a possible angle of the shot to Robin Bain's ...

The gun used to kill the Bain family in Dunedin will be returned to David Bain via his supporter Joe Karam.

EQC cap may jump up to $150k

Earthquake Commission Minister Gerry Brownlee says any changes will not affect existing claims.

Review could raise disaster cover from $100k, but contents will no longer be covered.

Pedestrian hit by car dies

Emergency services investigate how Joseph Bertogg came to be hit by a car in Blenheim last week. (File photo)

Blenheim man Joseph Bertogg dies in hospital after being hit by a car last week.

Waikato

Build cheaper, ditch the garage

Marshall Bryce is completing his MBA at Waikato University.

Hamilton builder has concrete plans to tackle housing affordability.

Tonic for small towns

Waikato University Professor of population health Ross Lawrenson.

Heath bosses are looking across the ditch to see how rural docs are helping revive small towns.

SFO swoops on river trust

Roger Pikia is under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, but remains chair of the Te Arawa River Iwi Trust.

The SFO has swooped on the offices of a trust tasked with cleaning up the Waikato River.

Waikato to world stage

Diaz Grimm said America feels like home to him now.

Kiwi rapper mixing with man who helped superstars Eminem and 50 Cent.

Taranaki

'Smoked' by waves for the giggles video

Members of the public avoid the big waves caused by high tides along the Coastal Walkway.

Despite warnings, thrill-seekers clamber over barriers to wander through huge waves crashing over coastal walkway.

Parks not in the plan

Full carpark at North Taranaki Visitor Centre during Easter holiday weekend last year

Visitors to Mt Taranaki will have to keep fighting to find a carpark.

Skate park to be lit up

Vinny Horwell, 2, from Lepperton flies through a puddle on his bike at the East End Skate Park on Sunday.

A team of four are working towards getting lights for the East End Skate Park.

Stolen car 'well on fire'

A car reported stolen went up in flames.

Police are now looking for three teens seen leaving the scene.

Manawatu

Escape from blaze

A Palmerston North family home, on Featherston St, was destroyed when a fire tore through it in on Monday morning.

A Palmerston North house was on fire, but its residents got out.

Elderly abuse concerns

Age Concern is calling for people needing help to pick up their phones.

Many victims are too ashamed to speak out, says Age Concern's chief executive.

World scrum record attempt

Black Ferns fullback Selica Winiata in action against Australia  in Christchurch during the International Women's Rugby ...

There's a three-day Winter Festival tapping into the Lions tour.

Robbery accused in court

Palmerston North's West End Store was robbed on the evening of June 21.

A Palmerston North dairy owner is still in hospital, five days after confronting a robber.

Nelson

School's out for Christine

Christine Harrison is saying goodbye to Nelson Central School after 40 years of teaching there.

After 40 years' service, Nelson Central School deputy principal Christine Harrison is calling it a day.

Queen St slowing down

Vehicles travelling along the commercial section of the main street in Richmond will have to keep to 30kmh from August.

The speed limit along a stretch of Richmond's main street will drop to 30kmh.

Sunny Marlborough a class act

A pruning session at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology campus, in Blenheim, impresses visiting agents ...

Top of the south described as country's "best kept secret" for international students.

School fair's another quacker

Rohan Haskell, left, helps release the ducks into the water at the Riwaka School annual noon duck race, Kaiteriteri Beach.

Sun and support made Riwaka School's annual duck race fundraiser a huge success.

Marlborough

Tagging inspires theatre mural

Marlborough Civic Theatre Trust chairman Kevin Moseley wants the Marlborough community to have input into a mural design ...

A daring piece of graffiti on a Blenheim theatre has led the trust behind the building to consider their own artwork as a replacement.

Driver admits guilt

Lara Glover, 16, died in the car crash on February 19.

Teen admits dangerous driving causing death but challenges police version of events.

Two drivers hospitalised

Fire, ambulance and police attended the crash on New Renwick Rd.

Fire, ambulance and police respond to two-car crash.

Bail pending fraud sentencing

Coffey was accused of helping deceive his former employer, the Department of Internal Affairs.

Former gambling inspector Kevin Coffey gets bail until fraud sentencing.

South Canterbury

From Nicaragua to Geraldine

Survivor contestant Shannon Quinn said the first thing she did when she was voted off the reality television show was to ...

Former Survivor contestant sought solace at home in Geraldine after Nicaragua competition.

Timaru taggers caught

Community Patrol graffiti co-ordinator Trish Andrews cleaning a postbox on Guinness St.

Police catch up with Timaru taggers after community patrol records incidents

Mayors support anti-plastic stance

Timaru District mayor Damon Odey supports an anti-plastic waste stance.

South Canterbury's mayors say they are backing an anti-plastic waste push.

Black spot targeted

John and Linda Cant, grandparents of Ruby Marris, 5, who was killed in a head-on collision near Moeraki in February ...

New safety system installed on high-risk stretch of road near Moeraki.

Southland

Struggle to keep Maori language alive

Former Te Wharekura o Arowhenua school principal Arni Wainui.

''If we lose our language we lose a large part of who we are and who we identify ourselves as."

Search underway gallery video

A police vehicle in the Slope Point area on Monday.

Search and rescue operation underway in Southland after fisherman reported overdue.

Pet dog shot dead

Max's owner found his body on Friday evening near the front gate of their property.

"Playful, friendly" labrador found dead at home with a bullet in his chest.

Strip and dip at Winter Fest video

A bright orange birdman leaps from the wharf on Queenstown's lakefront.

Scene of unseasonal jollity unfolds on Queenstown's lakefront as near-nude men and women fall over one another and rafts lose crew.

Ad Feedback