Co-offender jailed for assault

22:45, Dec 03 2012

A second man involved in the brutal assault of an Eltham man two years ago has been sentenced to six years' jail.

Robert Douglas Clement, 47, was found guilty after a trial in New Plymouth District Court of wounding Michael John Hardgrave with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm.

Clement vehemently denied from the witness box that he had anything to do with the assault.

Mr Hardgrave suffered a fractured face and ribs and permanent brain injuries.

The trial was told that former All Black Bryce Robins was also allegedly involved in what was described as a brutal assault on Mr Hardgrave outside Mr Robins' Eltham tavern on Easter Monday evening two years ago.

Mr Hardgrave had been drinking with Mr Robins and others, they argued and Mr Hardgrave left the hotel with a friend, smashing two windows. At least three men attacked him, leaving him in the gutter badly injured.

Judge Allan Roberts sentenced Clement to six years' jail, the sentence co- offender Noel Bland was handed down after his trial.

Police are continuing to investigate the case and said at trial they would be approaching Mr Robins, believed to be living in Western Australia.

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