New Zealand Police v Ngaio  NZDC 3287
Published 13 December 2018
Sentencing — no guiding tariff — contravening protection order — escaping custody — Palmer v Police — Mitchell v R — Crean v Police.
The defendant appeared for sentencing after pleading guilty to three charges of contravening a protection order and one charge of escaping custody. One charge of breaching the protection order occurred against the defendant's ex-partner who was the mother of his children. The two were having an argument, the victim stated she was recording the conversation and the defendant began to grope and grab at the victim to get the phone. She was 8 months pregnant at the time and called the police to make the defendant leave. The remainder of the offending occurred a few weeks later when the police arrived at the victim's home to arrest the defendant on an unrelated matter. The defendant reacted violently, smashing a cupboard in front of his two young children, who were left crying hysterically as he escaped.
Due to the variety of circumstances, there was no guiding tariff case for sentencing. Aggravating factors were the defendant's four previous breaches of the victim's protection order, the presence of his children on both occasions, use of physical violence, use of psychological violence, the breach of trust of his young children and the use of the children and the victim as shields against the police. In consideration of these factors the judge adopted a starting sentence of 16 months' imprisonment for the contraventions of the protection order. A concurrent sentence of 3 months was given for the charge of escaping custody. The total sentence was reduced to 12 months' imprisonment in light of the defendant's guilty plea.
Judgment Date: 21 February 2018.
* * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *