Home detention for Riccarton bus lounge violence

March 24, 2017 | By More

Home detention has been imposed for a five-on-one gang attack in the Riccarton bus lounge.

The two remaining men involved – Nikora Lake Siaosi, 20, of Mairehau, and Jahphire Tekouaterangi Travis, 20, of Aranui – received six-month home detention terms at a Christchurch District Court sentencing by Judge Paul Kellar.

One man, Reggie Kenneth Roberts, 22, was jailed for 13 months in January for the gang attack, and for a later confrontation with police at Cheviot.

Two younger offenders have been dealt with in the Youth Court.

The bus lounge attack about 7pm on March 17, 2016, has been described in court as “a family matter”, but some of those involved barked like dogs – an indication of Mongrel Mob involvement – when cars were stopped by police at Cheviot to search for weapons.

Siaosi and Travis admitted charges of assault with intent to injure for the bus lounge attack, and Siaosi also admitted aggravated disorderly behaviour for his role in the confrontation with police.

A charge of behaving threateningly laid against Travis over a separate confrontation with police who were making a bail check at an address in Aranui was withdrawn.

Defence counsel for Siaosi, April Kelland, said her client had received a call saying that a younger family member had been harassed by the eventual assault victim at Riccarton, and went to the bus lounge where others had also converged.

Siaosi accepted that his reaction went too far. There had been provocation because as he arrived, the victim had lifted his jacket and showed him that he had a knife in a sheath on his belt.

He was now working as a fire protection installer. He was in a stable relationship with a baby due in June and his aim now was to settle down and be a good parent.

Tom Stevens, for Travis, said the earlier threat to a younger family member explained what the group did, but did not justify it. Travis accepted that the approach they took was wrong. His client had had “a somewhat difficult upbringing”. After the sentencing, he was planning to attend a carpentry course. He was “heading in the right direction”, Mr Stevens said.

Judge Kellar said other members of the group had used a tomahawk to smash the windows on the victim’s car outside the lounge, and another of them had struck him twice with it on the head when they were inside the lounge. Siaosi had punched him in the head several times, and Travis punched and kicked him.

The victim had bruising, a black eye, tender ribs, and a cut on his head that needed seven stitches.

When the police later stopped cars at Cheviot to search for weapons involved in the incident, Siaosi confronted one of the badly-outnumbered officers, and one of the group began barking like a dog to encourage the others and intimidate the police. The officers had to draw pistols during the confrontation, and the local fire brigade eventually arrived to support the police.

It had been “deplorable behaviour” by those in the cars, said Judge Kellar.

He considered prison terms, but decided home detention sentences could be allowed because they were young and had no prior relevant convictions.

 

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