R v Hepi 2019 NZDC 1075

Published 12 August 2019

Sentencing — wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm — burglary — breach of community detention — driving while suspended — injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm — assault with a weapon — breach of release conditions — gang offending — R v Taueki [2005] 3 NZLR 372. The defendants appeared for sentence on a variety of charges arising from an incident where they arrived at a property in the early hours of the morning and launched an unprovoked attack on the occupant (the victim). The second defendant punched the victim in the face and stabbed him with a screwdriver, and the first defendant punched and kicked him as he lay on the ground and threw an object at his head. The second defendant then smashed a number of computer screens and hard drives belonging to the victim. Why the defendants went to the victim's property was unknown. Both defendants were members of the Mongrel Mob but this had no proven connection to the offending. For the first defendant, the Court set a start point of five years, uplifted by a further 6 months for the other charges the first defendant faced and for his previous convictions. To recognise the defendant's difficult upbringing and early guilty plea, the Court reduced the sentence to three years four months. For the second defendant, who had initiated the attack on the victim, the Court set a start point of eight and a half years and uplifted this to nine years four months to recognise the other charges the defendant faced, as well as the defendant's previous convictions and offending while serving a sentence of community detention. The second defendant earned discounts for remorse, difficult upbringing and early guilty plea, for a total sentence of five years three months. Judgment Date: 23 January 2019.