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Man loses his eye in family dispute

Last updated 05:00 06/12/2012

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A man has lost an eye and his brother-in-law has been sentenced to home detention and community work after a family dispute.

Etuale Leiataua, 26, who admitted charges of intentionally injuring his brother-in-law and assaulting his sister, was sentenced in the Christchurch District Court yesterday.

After Leiataua had a disagreement and fight with his brother-in-law in September he became intoxicated.

He returned to the victim's house in the Christchurch suburb of Waltham with a piece of broken concrete hidden in his hand.

He struck the man twice. The first blow knocked his victim to the ground, and when he tried to get up he was struck again.

Leiataua's sister was assaulted in another incident in July.

Defence counsel Richard Peters said the family had since had a meeting, and had held an apology ceremony. The apology had been accepted.

Crown prosecutor Nicola Robson said Leiataua could still be deported, and was fortunate not to be facing a far more serious charge.

Judge David Saunders said Leiataua had been part way through a diversion scheme for an assault when the family dispute occurred.

Leiataua had inflicted a serious injury. His brother-in-law had to have emergency surgery which resulted in the loss of his eye, the judge said.

After the incident Leiataua was concerned, cried, and was remorseful about what he had done, he said.

Judge Saunders sentenced Leiataua to 10 months home detention, and 220 hours of community work.

The home detention conditions were that Leiataua was to be assessed for alcohol rehabilitation, he was to have no contact with his victims without his probation officer's approval, and was not to consume or be in possession of alcohol or drugs.

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