Woman jailed for brutal home invasion

LAIRD HARPER
Last updated 05:00 11/09/2012

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A South Taranaki woman who brutally attacked another and threatened to cut her throat during a late-night home invasion has been jailed for more than two years.

Sara Rosemaaree Rio, 25, appeared before Judge David McKegg in Hawera District Court yesterday for sentencing over the May 3 attack.

Rio had earlier pleaded guilty to injury with intent to injure and aggravated burglary and was sentenced to two years and six months behind bars.

The court heard how Rio, along with Jody Rita Cuff, 29, broke into the victim's Hawera home at 10.30pm.

The pair then punched the victim about the head and arms, kicked and kneed her on the ground and ripped out clumps of her hair.

Rio then left the house and returned with a broken bottle and threatened to cut the victim's throat.

Rio's lawyer Kylie Pascoe conceded prison was appropriate but argued for a shorter sentence because there was no way to tell who had inflicted what.

Ms Pascoe said Rio had undertaken an anger management programme and requested a restorative justice meeting, but the victim declined.

Judge McKegg said the attack was "extremely serious" and the jail sentence should be long enough to denounce such crimes.

Earlier, Cuff, who admitted assault with intent to injure and intentional damage for her part in the attack, was remanded on bail while the court looked at home detention options. She will reappear on October 10.

A man who received three of the 17 guns stolen from a Manaia home on May 11 has been jailed for 18 months.

Daryl Ross O'Connell, 27, of Normanby, had earlier admitted manufacturing cannabis oil, receiving stolen property and unlawfully possessing firearms.

Judge McKegg said O'Connell, with his previous convictions, was heading down a slippery slope. "You are not bulletproof. That lifestyle will kill you way before your time."

The court heard how O'Connell freely admitted what he had done when police searched his home and led them straight to the weapons, which included a semi-automatic .22 and a scoped .308. He told them he was holding on to them for someone else.

Police also found a small quantity of cannabis oil, cannabis material and several syringes.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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