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Hitting youths step too far

Last updated 13:00 14/11/2012

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A Stoke man who confronted youths firing fireworks at his house has admitted he went too far by hitting them.

Phillip Reece Te Wehi, 44, yesterday admitted three charges of assault when he appeared in the Nelson District Court.

Prosecutor Sergeant Graeme Eden said about 10pm on November 8 a group of youths were letting off fireworks in Scotia St, Wakatu.

The group had been moved on by an elderly resident and then started setting off fireworks up Te Wehi's driveway.

Te Wehi grabbed a bit of flaxbush and confronted the group, hitting a female on the wrist with the piece of flaxbush and a male in the forehead.

Lawyer Mark Dollimore said the group of 20 or so youths had been letting fireworks off for about an hour in the street.

Te Wehi had held himself together until they started firing fireworks at his roof - waking up his son - and up his driveway.

He initially went out to the group to get them to move on and accepted he had gone too far and should have called police.

Te Wehi had been under pressure due to domestic issues, and when the group started firing fireworks at his house that "lit his fuse". One of the youths had been filming the incident.

Judge Richard Russell said he understood that Te Wehi was provoked by having the fireworks aimed at his roof and down his driveway, but he could not take the law into his own hands.

He fined Te Wehi $100 on each charge.

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- The Nelson Mail

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