Elderly bashing victim has lost sight in one eye

Court House-general1The 72-year-old victim of a vicious street attack in New Brighton has lost the sight in one eye and has reduced use of an arm and a leg.

The man was bashed to the ground and then had his head stomped by 20-year-old Resham Toa Blake-Faatafa, who has admitted two charges of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm.

The Christchurch District Court sentencing was told that the victim had a traumatic brain injury and had amnesia for 33 days.

The man was bashed about 1.30am on July 15 when Blake-Faatafa followed him as he walked through New Brighton. The victim was cornered in a shop doorway, and Blake-

Faatafa taunted and danced around him during the assault.

After knocking him unconscious, Blake-Faatafa walked away but returned after two minutes to deliver three more stomps to the head.

Defence counsel Glenn Dixon said Blake-Faatafa had been aged only 19 at the time of the assault. He had unexpectedly lost his girlfriend to an aneurysm last year, and his use of methamphetamine had increased.

He had been smoking methamphetamine, and drinking alcohol on the day of the assault, and had an acknowledged anger problem. He was struggling with grief issues.

Mr Dixon said Blake-Faatafa’s mother was in court supporting him at the sentencing.

Crown prosecutor Aja Trinder said a non-parole term was sought as part of the sentence.

Judge Raoul Neave said the victim had been robbed of his full enjoyment of life. The victim impact statement was a very forgiving document – the victim intended to make the most of his life and get on with it.

“It is a wonderful tribute to him, but not to you,” the judge told Blake-Faatafa.

The victim had permanent, disabling injuries, and had ended up with a brain injury which caused symptoms as though he had a stroke.

The judge said there was particular cruelty involved in the offending, and described it as “one of the most serious offences of its type”.

The offender was in the grip of methamphetamine use, and probably synthetic cannabis as well. These two drugs could be “a disastrous cocktail”.

For a charge of receiving stolen property, and the bashing, he jailed Blake-Faatafa for eight years seven months, with a non-parole term of four years three months.

He described the offending as “vicious and appalling”.


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