Home sentence for 'primitive' attack

LAIRD HARPER
Last updated 05:00 10/10/2012

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The second South Taranaki woman who brutally attacked another during a late-night home invasion has been sentenced to home detention.

Jody Rita Cuff, 29, appeared before Judge Allan Roberts in Hawera District Court yesterday for sentencing.

Cuff had earlier pleaded guilty to assault with intent to injure and intentional damage and was yesterday sentenced to eight months' home detention and 200 hours of community service.

The court was told Cuff, with Sara Rosemaaree Rio, 25, broke into the victim's Hawera home at 10.30pm on May 3.

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

Cuff's lawyer, Paul Keegan, conceded prison had to be considered but argued for home detention because Cuff had made steps to turn her life around.

Judge Roberts said the attack was nothing short of "primitive gang behaviour" and by sentencing her to home detention she was walking a fine line.

He said if Cuff strayed from her sentence in any way jail was the only option left.

Last month, Rio was jailed for two years and six months for injuring with intent to injure and aggravated burglary.

A 48-year-old Opunake man has admitted possessing cannabis oil, seeds and plant material as well as a pipe for smoking the drug.

Richard John Andrew pleaded guilty when he appeared in Hawera District Court yesterday.

The court was told how armed police had raided his coastal Taranaki home and found more than 700 grams of cannabis in four boxes.

A small quantity of cannabis oil and cannabis seeds were also found at the house.

Defence lawyer Kelly Marriner argued for a sentence of community work.

Judge Allan Roberts said based on Andrew's history he wanted a pre-sentence report to look at all options, including home detention, and convicted and remanded Andrew until November 6.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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