Judge decries 'disgusting behaviour'

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 05:00 19/06/2014

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Three South Taranaki males facing serious domestic violence charges fronted up in the Hawera District Court yesterday. A sustained assault by Tyler Matthew Leatherby, of Hawera, on his partner was described as "unimaginably disgusting behaviour" by Judge Geoffrey Ellis after the 21-year-old pleaded guilty to assault with intent to injure after a June 15 incident.

According to the summary of facts, Leatherby and his partner were at a Pacey Ave address drinking. After the partner decided she wanted to go home, Leatherby became angry and an argument started. Leatherby twice pulled his partner out of a car by her scarf and grabbed her around the throat. At one point he dragged her along the road by her hair. As a result of the assault, she suffered a bump on her head and neck pain.

Judge Ellis said alcohol was no excuse for the offending.

"I can't even begin to understand how a man can behave like that," he said.

Prosecutor Steve Hickey said the couple, who had two children, intended to stay together but a protection order would be sought.

Leatherby was remanded on bail until August 12 for sentencing. A Stratford teenager who pleaded guilty to punching his partner in the head has been given a chance to get counselling before his next court date. Mac Nathan Neil, 17, punched his partner, 19, when she slapped him in the face during an argument at their home on June 10. The victim was holding one of the couple's children at the time.

"You need to think seriously about what you're doing with your lives and these children," the judge said.

Hickey sought a remand for counselling for Neil, who is due to reappear in court on July 15. Morehu Karamaene Huriwaka-Potts, 23, appeared for sentencing on a charge of injuring his sister with intent. She had suffered a broken nose. He pleaded guilty at an earlier appearance.

Lawyer Natalie Bradley said her client had undertaken a restorative justice process and asked for time to allow for counselling and other rehabilitative programmes to be completed.

Judge Ellis said Huriwaka-Potts needed to "man-up" and deal with his offending.

"You need to take responsibility for the behaviour that is driving that," he said.

The judge asked for an updated probation report to be prepared when Huriwaka-Potts reappeared on October 28.

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