Matamata man jailed after 'drunken night of stupidity'
A Matamata man has been jailed after punching two men, including a police officer who he knocked unconscious.
Anthony Allan Mcallister, 38, was sentenced to two years and three months in jail in the Hamilton District Court yesterday after the drunken attack on Senior Constable Martin Capener and pub patron Joe Tokona.
The assaults occurred at the TRAC Sports bar on November 10 last year.
Mcallister pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding Mr Capener with intent to injure part way through a one-day trial in September.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of injuring Mr Tokona with intent to injure.
Judge David Ruth yesterday accepted Mcallister's own description of the incident as "one drunken night of stupidity".
Mcallister was drinking at the bar with his partner when he became involved in a verbal disagreement with Mr Tokona just before 1am.
Mr Capener and Constable Brentleigh Currie were on duty at the bar, and were standing outside when Mr Tokona left and watched as Mcallister punched Mr Tokona repeatedly in the head.
Mr Capener grabbed Mcallister, pulling him away from Mr Tokona and across the road to his patrol car.
But once there, Mcallister remained "generally aggressive", and was pepper sprayed by Mr Capener, an officer of 27 years.
It didn't work and Mcallister was sprayed again, but he responded by punching Mr Capener twice in the head, knocking him to the ground.
Mr Capener suffered a large gash to his face that required 11 stitches, along with a number of other small cuts to his face, bruising and a broken rib.
In pressing for his client to avoid a jail term, Mcallister's counsel Russell Boot told Judge Ruth Mcallister had abided by his strict bail conditions and was very remorseful for what happened.
Mr Boot said Mr Tokona had even accepted provoking Mcallister to an extent, saying he deserved the beating he got.
Judge David Ruth said the lead charge was the attack on Mr Capener as he was a police officer and was there to protect the public, not to be assaulted by them, despite it being a risk of the job.
As well as the stitches, he also suffered a fractured rib, black eye, swollen jaw, sore teeth and sleepless nights.
Outside court, Mr Capener wouldn't comment on the sentence but said he was glad it was all over and he could move on.
The incident hadn't put him off Matamata or policing.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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