A Nelson man involved in a plan to lure another man to a park to assault him and take his cellphone said the victim deserved it.
Zachary Finlayson, 18, of Nelson, admitted charges of common assault, aggravated robbery and receiving property when he appeared in the Nelson District Court yesterday.
Crown prosecutor Sophie O'Donoghue said that on April 19 Finlayson and a group of friends lured a man to a local park and robbed him.
The victim had been associating with the group, driving them around Nelson while they drank alcohol.
On the day, while at a Stoke address, they had texted him to ask them to take them out "cruising", but he had refused, and they had decided to get their revenge by stealing his cellphone.
One of the group texted the victim, saying she had broken up with her boyfriend after a fight, and asking him to meet her at Octopus Park in Stoke.
When he initially refused, she said she would have sex with him.
When the victim arrived at the park, some members of the group, including Finlayson, were waiting in the bushes, with another man in the car with the woman.
When the victim approached the car, the man inside the car asked him what he was doing with his mate's girl, and punched him in the head, causing blood to run down his head.
They then took two cellphones, one valued at about $600, and another worth $200, and a wallet, from him.
Later, Finlayson took one of the cellphones and sold it for $120, keeping the money.
When questioned by police, he said the man "deserved it".
Finlayson also admitted a charge of common assault in Blenheim.
Prosecuting sergeant Wayne Johnston said that on May 3 Finlayson was with a group of friends drinking near Taylor river bank in Blenheim, when he called out to a passing 52-year-old vineyard worker.
The man ignored him, so Finlayson called him a "faggot", prompting the man to return the favour with verbal abuse of his own.
Finlayson walked up, yelling abuse, and pushed the victim down to the ground, kicking at him as he fell but not making contact.
Another member of the group pulled Finlayson away from the man.
When questioned by police, he said he had been drinking and got carried away when the old man "got lippy" with him.
Defence lawyer Michael Vesty said Finlayson did not dispute the charges.
He had also pleaded not guilty to a charge of unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, and would soon appear in Blenheim District Court on that charge.
Judge Tom Broadmore convicted him on the three charges, remanding him on bail until October 10 for sentencing.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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