Timing of trespass order service 'unwise'

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 16:20 30/07/2014

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Late-night service of a trespass order by three unexpected "intruders" led to a dog bite and two of them being stabbed.

Defence counsel for the householder, Tony Garrett, said the decision to make the 10.45pm visit to serve the order on behalf of the ex-partner of the man was not illegal, but it was unwise.

Nathan Kenneth Bonniface, 42, was taken by surprise to find the three visitors at his flat in New Brighton.

He had been asleep and he had been drinking.

Christchurch District Court Judge Jane Farish said it was not surprising that Bonniface's dog - also taken by surprise - bit one of the intruders and was kicked.

Bonniface went to the aid of the dog and a serious fight began.

According to the police photographs taken straight afterwards, he received a beating, but in the course of the fight, he got two vegetable knives from the kitchen and wounded two of the intruders.

Judge Farish described the wounds as "fairly superficial" and said at Bonniface's sentencing that the case had elements of self-defence and provocation.

On the morning of his jury trial, Bonniface had pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding with reckless disregard for safety.

Defence counsel Tony Garrett said Bonniface was lawfully entitled to be in the property but acknowledged that his efforts for self-defence had been excessive.

He said Bonniface had done well over the last two years in terms of his employment. He was now working as a maintenance engineer and his employer regarded him as an essential part of the team.

Judge Farish said she was not surprised that the man who had received four small wounds to his back had no animosity towards Bonniface.

"Quite frankly it was a foolish exercise to try to serve you with a trespass notice late at night in your home. They were trespassing on your private property."

She imposed four months of community detention, and a year's supervision with an order that he undertake treatment and counselling as recommended. He also received a first-strike warning.

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- The Press

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