Bashing victim was ‘too nice’ for gang

Court House-general 3The victim of a gang bashing had earlier been blocked from membership of Black Power because he was “too nice”.

Four Black Power members or associates were jailed for the bashing at the Christchurch District Court today, but all will be out of prison almost straight away.

They all received sentences of two years or just under, and because of the time served on remand almost all will be released without the Parole Board intervening.

The sentencing session before Judge Tom Gilbert was assured by at least one of the four that the victim no longer had anything to fear from them.

The jury trial last month was delayed to find the victim and get him to court and then he had a loss of memory when he gave evidence, being unable to remember any details of the punching and kicking that had broken his cheek bone and caused other injuries.

The Crown then dropped the kidnapping charges against the four, and they pleaded guilty to charges of intentionally injuring the victim. They were remanded in custody for sentence, and most had already spent a long period in custody awaiting the trial.

Defence counsel Margaret Sewell, appearing for Enzed Norman Beazley, 23, said her client had come from a gang culture, but had no previous convictions for violence.

She said he had regarded the bashing victim as being “nice”. When the man had wanted to join Black Power, Beazley would not let him because he was “too nice”, she told Judge Gilbert.

The trial was told that the 10-man attack on the victim in Aranui on July 13, 2015, had not been gang related. It had been carried out over a drug debt.

The victim was dragged out of a house, and into a car. He was bashed and held in a bedroom at another address. When three of the men drove him away from the property, the car was stopped by the police and the victim gave a false name in the hope of being arrested and “rescued” – a ploy that apparently worked.

Phillip Allan, counsel for 22-year-old Jahmystic Raerae, said his client now wanted to “draw a line under the incident” and the victim had nothing to worry about in terms of repercussions.

Counsel for Liam Teau Ariki Strickland, 19, Ruth Buddicom, said her client would apologise by letter to the victim and she would continue with efforts to arrange a restorative justice meeting.

Defence counsel April Kelland said Robert James Beazley, 21, had only a slight criminal history which included one assault.

Judge Gilbert said it had been a “nasty and frightening” attack on the victim, but he now simply wanted to move on. He said he had declined to refer to the case for a restorative justice meeting because of the way the trial had unfolded.

He said the men had been part of a group that had planned an attack, sought out the victim, carried out a home invasion, attacked his head, and caused serious injury. Because of the group attack, it was not possible to pinpoint what each of them had done.

Judge Gilbert jailed the Beazleys and Strickland for two years, and Raerae for 23 months. All will have six months of post detention conditions when they must take part in assessments, courses, counselling or training as directed.

Enzed Beazley had also admitted a breach of release conditions, and Strickland had admitted shoplifting a television. Concurrent jail terms were imposed.

The victim was not at the Court House to see the sentences imposed.

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