Beaten boy's emotional damage 'horrendous'

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 18:45 01/07/2013
MAU HARAWIRA
JOHN SELKIRK
MAU HARAWIRA: Pleaded guilty to injuring with intent to injure and theft.

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A boy chased and beaten by a nephew of MP Hone Harawira was horrendously damaged, his parents say.

Mau Toa Harawira, 30, has been jailed for three years for a drunken home invasion in which he chased the 12-year-old into his house and beat him in his bedroom.

The parents of the victim told TVNZ the emotional damage to their son had been "horrendous".

"All of a sudden a 12-year-old boy has had to grow up," they said.

They revealed the offender's grandmother and feared kuia Titewhai Harawira called the family of the boy to try to smooth things over.

Hone Harawira claimed to have done the same. However, the parents said that was not the case.

"If he really wanted to do it, he could've got hold of us but he didn't," the boy's father said. "From my opinion, it was more political posturing and grandstanding than anything."

Despite the jail term being handed down, they were not impressed.

"It's just another Maori going into prison. Does that make me happy? No it doesn't."

Mau Harawira - the son of former anti-violence campaigner Hinewhare Harawira - appeared for sentence in the Auckland District Court today after pleading guilty to injuring with intent to injure and theft.

Judge David Harvey said on August 24, 2012, Harawira had been drinking at a Blockhouse Bay address before going to a nearby beach, where the 12-year-old complainant was playing with a toy.

"For some reason or another you decided he was making disparaging remarks about you ..." the judge said.

"You decided to wreak your vengeance on him, a boy."

The victim was chased from the beach into his home.

Mau Harawira entered the property through the front deck and found the boy in his bedroom. He slapped him and threw him to the ground.

He punched and kicked the boy's head and torso as he lay on the ground, curled in the foetal position, trying to cover his head with his hands, the judge said.

The boy was dragged outside by his hair and slapped on the head several more times.

The boy was hospitalised but was not seriously hurt.

Police said Mau Harawira returned to the house and took a basket of the victim's belongings, including a PlayStation, clothes, shoes and a "taonga".

Judge Harvey said he was "gutless and cowardly".

"He was in his own house, where he should be safe - he was in his own room, where he should be safe," he said.

The judge said victim impact statements said the boy's family were horrified at the invasion of their home.

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The boy had had to "grow up too soon" because of the case.

Judge Harvey said a sentence must have a deterrent effect.

- Stuff

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