R v Petera [2020] NZDC 16911

Published 08 October 2021

Sentencing — wounding with intent to cause grievously bodily harm — assault on a person in a family relationship — theft — speaking threateningly — hate crime — transgender victim — R v Taueki [2005] 3 NZLR 372. The defendant appeared for sentence on charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, assault on a person in a family relationship, theft, and speaking threateningly. During a sexual encounter with a prostitute (the first victim), he had discovered that the victim was biologically a male. The defendant then began to behave aggressively and rudely toward the victim. Some two weeks later he saw the victim in public and after a confrontation, had punched the victim to the ground where he repeatedly stomped, kicked and punched her. The victim sustained multiple grazes, bruises and fractures. In a separate incident he argued with his ex-partner and punched her in the jaw, threatened her and took her cellphone. The Court observed that the lead charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm involved serious violence against a vulnerable victim. Further, the Court found that it constituted a hate crime. The start point for sentence was four years' imprisonment, uplifted by three months for offending on bail and six months for the domestic violence offences. The Court allowed reductions for the defendant's early guilty plea, his relative youth, mental impairment, depression, upbringing and having suffered past abuse. The final sentence was two years four months' imprisonment. Judgment Date: 21 August 2020