Victim blaming theme of teen's alcohol fuelled attacks on girlfriend
A probation officer's warning about a violent abuser has proven to be prophetic.
Weeks after being sentenced for a brutal assault on his girlfriend, Isaiah Tamati Vaagi Talau has admitted to targeting her again - with a high degree of violence which left her battered and bruised.
During his sentencing last month, a probation officer told the court Talau had negative views about women and violence had been a recurring theme for him.
On March 19, Talau texted his girlfriend and asked her to come and pick him up.
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"The victim was reluctant to do so as she believed he had been drinking," the summary of facts stated.
However, Talau assured her he had not been. A short time later, she arrived but as Talau got into the car, she smelt alcohol on him.
When she asked him to get out of the car, Talau punched the victim several times in the head. The force of the blows caused her head to hit the window.
The victim pleaded for him to stop but he only relented when his friend intervened. The victim needed medical treatment as she suffered a bleeding nose, swelling and bruising to the left side of the head and her left eye.
The summary of facts said the defendant had blamed the victim's behaviour for his violence.
"How else are you meant to teach them a lesson," Talau told officers.
The circumstances are eerily similar to the defendant's previous convictions for assault and wilful damage.
During that incident, the 19-year-old repeatedly punched the windscreen of a car, causing it to smash and then turned his anger towards his partner, who was sitting in the driver's seat.
He punched the woman in the stomach before striking her repeatedly in the head. The force of the blows caused the victim's face to hit the window, which caused heavy bruising to her jaw.
When interviewed Talau told police he was drunk and his girlfriend was to blame for the attack.
Before he was sentenced to nine months' supervision and 80 hours community work for the assault, a probation officer told the sentencing judge there had been a number of callouts to the address where the defendant lived and the teen had a disrespectful attitude towards women.
During his appearance in the New Plymouth District Court on Thursday, Talau pleaded guilty to a charge of assaults with intent to injure related to the March 19 offending.
Judge Lynne Harrison said the victim requested a protection order due to Talau's continued harassment of her on the street and on Facebook.
"The order is necessary and is made with her consent. It is effective immediately," Harrison told the defendant.
Talau will reappear in court for sentencing on June 13.