Bible studies cut bad behaviour, court told

A serial domestic violence offender is changing his ways and is now attending Bible studies, his girlfriend told New Plymouth District Court yesterday.

William Samuel Oka, 39, was convicted of assaulting her following an incident in April this year.

On April 11, Oka struck the complainant in the head while she was holding his son.

Oka has a long list of previous convictions.

The complainant, who is also the mother of the couple's unborn child, said Oka had been attending Bible studies with her grandfather and his behaviour was improving.

Judge Allan Roberts agreed that Oka had been absent from the courtrooms of late. "You and I know each other well, although your appearances have dwindled recently," he said.

Defence counsel Julian Hannam said Oka was having counselling and was seeking to get his facial tattoo, which depicted gang insignia, removed.

The complainant requested a protection order against Oka because she did not wish to expose her children to his behaviour any longer. Judge Roberts granted the order, although he said protection orders against Oka in the past had had little effect. However, he said Oka had displayed remorse.

"You claim you feel sorry for what you have done."

Oka was sentenced to 175 hours community work as well as having the protection order made against him.

Taranaki Daily News