Dad condemning kids to violent life : judge

ROB KIDD
Last updated 08:07 15/06/2012

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A young father of two felt the wrath of a judge who told him his violent offending was condemning his children to a similar life.

Hamilton man Odis Gerald Minimita, 22, was hit with 110 hours of community work for one charge of possessing an offensive weapon and one of intimidation.

His anger was roused after his partner, who is pregnant with their third child, returned home from a night out in Morrinsville with her friends and told him of the threatening behaviour of a man who was also out socialising.

Minimita went round to the man's address while brandishing a spade and made comments of a violent nature.

Judge Merelina Burnett was not impressed by his impulsive behaviour and took issue with the example he was setting for his young children.

"What you do, they do," she said.

"You might as well take them by the hand and bring them to the courtroom doors."

The judge had earlier rebuked him for chewing gum while in front of her and was in no mood for niceties.

"You're only a very young man; you'll have to grow up awfully quickly.

"If you do want to make changes you'll get stuck in and do [the community work] – you'll be out of the criminal justice system instead of holding the door open for your kids," she said.

A man attempting to get bail to help his partner with their week-old baby was declined on account of his violent past.

Pita Harry Bellas, 32, was previously given a sentence of intensive supervision for assaulting his partner and breaching a protection order in the process, but after several breaches of that sentence, was remanded in custody.

The woman, the victim of the assault, was said to be in "dire straits" trying to look after her other young children and their newborn.

Defence counsel Nitin Deobhakta said he was seeking bail on "humanitarian grounds" but any hopes of his release were sharply quashed by Judge Merelina Burnett.

"To have him on electronically monitored bail and to be left in charge of a baby is not something I can contemplate," the judge said.

When it became clear he would remain in custody until his sentencing next month, his partner shouted in frustration: "He's a good father!"

After reading Bellas' pre-sentence report, Judge Burnett said it looked likely he would serve a jail term when he came back before the court.

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- Waikato Times

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