Full details of dead gunman Antony Ratahi's earlier attack on the ex-girlfriend he took hostage at an Opunake hotel last week emerged yesterday.
Sentencing papers released to the Taranaki Daily News, showed Ratahi, 46, came close to strangling Marcelle Beer after she went to his Stratford home in May this year.
He later approached her car with a knife in one hand and a tomahawk axe in the other, putting the point of the knife to her throat, the papers reveal.
They also show Ratahi had been convicted for assaulting another female in March this year.
Ratahi was shot by police on Saturday morning after he took Ms Beer hostage at gunpoint at Opunake's Headlands Hotel 13 hours earlier.
Following the May attack, Ratahi had pleaded guilty to a charge of intending to cause grievous bodily harm and another of assault using a knife as a weapon.
In his judgment in the New Plymouth District Court dated June 2, Judge Max Courtney said the charges to which Ratahi pleaded guilty were serious.
"Ms Bolstad [Ratahi's defence counsel Turitea Bolstad] suggested that this offending could be seen as not as serious given that it was Miss Beer who came to your house uninvited and notwithstanding that she had a protection order in place against you.
"Whilst, obviously, that may have been annoying from your point of view, it certainly did not warrant the response that you showed to her.
"There was a placing of both of your hands around her throat.
"Miss Beer then struggled and tried to get away from you but you held your grip around her throat tightly for about 10 seconds.
"She was unable to breathe and her vision started to blur.
"That level of assault is one that clearly calls for a sentence of imprisonment," Judge Courtney said.
The court heard Miss Beer then left the property and sat in her car. "You then approached her with a knife in one hand and a tomahawk axe in the other, reached through the open side driver's door and put the point of the knife to her throat. That must have been a very terrifying experience for her."
The knife was large, the blade measuring 21cm in length, the judge said.
"It was noted that you did nothing further and indicated in fact that you would rather kill yourself than her.
"Once again this was serious offending."
Judge Courtney said the starting point should be six months' prison.
"However, you have pleaded guilty to the charge – not at the first opportunity but certainly at the status hearing – and I give you credit for that."
Judge Courtney said Ratahi had a previous conviction for assaulting another female in March which was an aggravating factor. "These offences would not have occurred but for the fact that Miss Beer had gone to your property. I am prepared to take that into account in terms of imposing sentence."
The judge sentenced Ratahi to three months' jail on both charges and told him that the conviction on the grievous bodily harm charge brought into effect the three-strike warning process.
Police say three investigations into Ratahi's death are under way. A tangi for Ratahi will be held at Opunake's Oeo Marae today.
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