A man who claims his partner Natasha Harris died after drinking litres of Coca-Cola a day, was yesterday sentenced to jail for his role in a "cowardly attack" on two men and a woman.
Christopher Hodgkinson was one of five people to appear before Judge Kevin Phillips for sentence in Invercargill District Court in relation to the attack.
Also sentenced were his brother David Jonathan Hodgkinson, 30, Kurt William Lonneker, 32, Amanda Twining, 21, and Tony Beattie-Tainui.
Christopher Hodgkinson appeared on charges of injuring with intent to injure, burglary, assault with a weapon, possession of cannabis and wilful damage.
He was sentenced to two years and 11 months jail.
David Hodgkinson appeared on charges of injuring with intent to injure, burglary and breaching a protection order.
He was sentenced to two years and seven months jail.
Lonneker appeared on charges of injuring with intent to injure, burglary, and breach of release conditions.
He was sentenced to one year and nine months jail.
Twining and Tainui appeared on a charge of unlawful assembly.
They were both sentenced to two months jail but are likely to be released immediately because of time served, Judge Phillips said.
Judge Phillips said the female victim was David Hodgkinson's former partner. One of the male victims was her new partner, he said.
The incident, which he said was "absolutely disgraceful", took place on October 5 last year after the group went to the woman's house after David Hodgkinson sent her a series of text messages because he was upset she had entered into a new relationship, he said.
It appeared Christopher Hodgkinson, Lonneker, Twining, and Beattie-Tainui had not known why they were going to the house, he said.
The arrival of the group caused fear in the neighbourhood, he said.
At the house, Christopher Hodgkinson entered through a ranch slider. He had a 15cm knife with him, he said.
He started yelling at one of the male victims to come outside. He wanted him outside so his brother could have a "one-out" with him, Judge Phillips said.
The pair struggled, and the victim was forced into a corner, he said.
Christopher Hodgkinson was swinging the knife around and punching, he said.
The victim picked up a chair to defend himself, he said.
The second male victim went into hiding, and both later hid in a bathroom.
Both Hodgkinsons went looking for the men, attempting to open the bathroom door, he said.
The victims held the door shut, but the door was later kicked open.
Christopher Hodgkinson was the first to enter, assaulting one male victim with several blows.
The man fell to the ground and protected himself, he said.
David Hodgkinson later went in and started punching him, he said.
A female victim went outside and called police.
The female victim was traumatised by the incident, and frightened for her children's safety, he said.
She now had trouble sleeping and thought every little noise was someone entering her house.
He told Christopher Hodgkinson, who had been "grossly" affected by alcohol and drugs at the time, it was a "cowardly attack".
"It was an attack which you, in fact, fronted," he said.
While he accepted Hodgkinson's grief at the loss of his partner, taking drugs and drinking alcohol to excess was not the way to rectify that, he said.
- The Southland Times