Victim now fears visiting Hawera

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 27/02/2013

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Two young Hawera men launched an unprovoked attack on their victim in the early hours in the town centre, stealing the man's phone and wallet, the New Plymouth District Court was told.

The pair, Santee Wahia, 18, and Jordan Woodhead, 19, admitted robbing their victim and injuring him with intent on November 19, 2011.

The two changed their plea 10 days before their trial in December following the filing of incriminating witness evidence in court.

Defence lawyer Julian Hannam said the pair wanted to express their remorse face to face with their victim through a restorative justice meeting "but sadly it was not taken up".

Judge Allan Roberts said the witness placed the pair on the streets of Hawera at 3.30am.

"What you two were doing out on the streets of Hawera at that time of the morning is beyond me," the judge said.

A female who was with the two accused was first to go up to the victim.

She accused the man of giving some sort of gang sign.

She then punched him.

The two men then took over the attack, taking their victim to the ground and punching him.

They rifled through his pockets, taking the man's cellphone and wallet.

Woodhead continued with the assault.

His victim screamed as Woodhead kicked the defenceless man in the head.

The man, in his victim impact statement, said he did not want to risk going into Hawera again.

He felt sick at the thought of having to go to court.

The man was grateful to the person who intervened and stopped the pair from beating him up.

Judge Roberts was unimpressed that Wahia offered only $500 in emotional harm reparation to his victim when he had said he would bring $1500 to court.

Wahia admitted he had bought a car, saying it was to get himself to court.

"That can be sold can't it?" the judge asked.

"Yes, sir," Wahia said.

The judge ordered both men to pay their victim $1000 each, and sentenced them to nine months' home detention after giving some concession for their youth and eventual guilty pleas which spared their victim the ordeal of coming to court.

Both men are also to undergo 225 hours' community work and were handed down their first strike offence.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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