Brawler bashed in court ambush

BY AARON LEAMAN
Last updated 12:00 21/01/2010

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The ringleader of a South Auckland party bus whose occupants viciously attacked pub patrons in Hamilton and Ngaruawahia last year was given a taste of his own medicine when he turned up for sentencing at the Huntly District Court yesterday.

Richard Afu was set upon in what appeared to be a co-ordinated attack by the Ngaruawahia gang Tribal Huks, according to witnesses.

The 27-year-old and another man were dealt the rough justice in the ambush by up to 10 men for the brawlers' part in the unprovoked assaults last March, which left two victims with broken jaws, one with a broken nose and others bruised and beaten.

A bloodied and shaken Afu was led inside the courthouse by police after the attack outside the court building's main entrance.

Afu suffered a facial cut in the assault. Blood stains were visible on the courtroom steps.

Police yesterday said no-one had yet been charged over the confrontation.

Judge Denise Clark referred briefly to the incident as she sentenced Afu to 200 hours' community work for his role in the party bus trip.

Judge Clark condemned the courthouse attack, saying "no-one has the right to take matters into their own hands".

Afu was also ordered to pay $190 reparation after earlier pleading guilty to a charge of disorderly assembly.

Afu had organised the pub crawl on the party bus from Papakura to Hamilton for himself and 35 friends on March 21 last year. In Hamilton Afu directed the bus driver to stop along Victoria St to allow three passengers off.

Two of the men then assaulted patrons outside Bar 101, with two victims suffering broken jaws in the attack.

A later stop at Ngaruawahia's Delta Tavern resulted in security camera footage showing up to 15 passengers using bar stools to attack patrons and bar staff, and smash property.

Afu was also seen throwing a bar stool at a security guard.

In sentencing, Judge Clark said Afu's actions were unacceptable.

"You and your group caused a great deal of mayhem, distress and fear," she said.

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- Waikato Times

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