Street gang fracas described in court


Court House-07A young man caught up in a Dallington street gang conflict was sentenced to home detention on two charges of injuring with intent to injure in the Christchurch District Court.

Twenty-year-old Taua McLean was with three alleged co-offenders on November 1 when one co-offender allegedly punched the first victim in the head and knocked him to the ground. Police said he said a street gang name, and all four men continued the attack.

McLean started punching and kicking the man in the face, head, and body , and when the victim escaped, a co-offender allegedly picked up a wooden baseball bat and hit him on the head from behind.

A second victim picked up the bat and hit one of the co-offenders, and the police say the co-offenders picked up large terracotta pot plants and threw them at the two victims.

McLean picked up a weapon and hit one victim on his back.

The first victim was taken to hospital with injuries but was released the next day and made a good recovery. The second victim had a large welt on his back.

Defence counsel Craig Ruane said this was McLean’s first offence, and he was remorseful. He visited the victims and tried to apologise but they had moved house.

He said McLean got involved with a wrong group of people, and he couldn’t understand why he behaved in this way, except that he was drunk.

Judge Alistair Garland said the victims lived in the same neighbourhood as the alleged attackers.

He said McLean took full responsibility for his involvement and seemed genuinely remorseful, and his pre-sentence report said he was a low risk of re-offending.

Judge Garland said it was serious violence but not extreme, but it was unprovoked, with punching and kicking the first victim, and joining in the attack on the second victim.

He said the use of the street gang name meant the attack was motivated by gang culture and attitudes.

McLean was well regarded, and had good community support, and he thought the conduct was out of character, Judge Garland said.

He sentenced McLean to nine months’ home detention.

The alleged co-offenders pleaded not guilty to their charges and have been remanded for a case review hearing.


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