An innocent householder was left bound, broken, and bloodied when a methamphetamine robber got the address wrong.The householder says the doctors consider it may take years for him to recover from the trauma of the January 19 raid by 48-year-old Ihaka John Timu.
In his victim impact statement, he also described how the raid had upset his neighbour’s six-year-old son who found him covered in blood after he had freed himself from his bonds and struggled to the entranceway where he collapsed.
Christchurch District Court Judge Alistair Garland jailed Timu for seven years six months at his sentencing on charges of armed burglary and injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He ordered that Timu must serve at least three years eight months before he can be considered for parole.
Timu says he is keen for rehabilitation and for psychological treatment to try to understand why he keeps offending. His criminal list dates back as far as 1986 with 59 previous convictions, including two for injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, two aggravated assaults, assault with intent to injure, seven for burglary, and 22 for dishonesty. He has two convictions for using a firearm against a police officer.
The Crown said he had left the scene of the robbery – having found only some cannabis after raiding the wrong address – leaving the householder tied up on the floor, and with broken wrists and eye sockets.
Prosecutor Sophia Beckett Young said it was accepted that after he was picked up for other offending a few days later, Timu admitted he had carried out the raid at a time when the police had no suspects.
Defence counsel Nicola Hansen said Timu’s pre-sentence report referred to mental health issues that would need “on-going help”. She said Timu had felt “overwhelming remorse” afterwards when he admitted the offence to police.
Judge Garland said Timu went to the address in Cuffs Road, Aranui, about 7pm on January 19, after being told there was methamphetamine and cash there. However, he made a mistake about the address he went to.
He picked up some pipe pliers he found at a neighbouring property and then watched the victim go out to the garage before he entered through the open front door.
When the victim came back in, Timu hit him over the head with the pliers, and continued to assault him as he lay on the floor. He dragged him to the kitchen where he smashed him around the head with a glass baking dish, and choked him a carotid hold until he nearly blacked out.
He repeatedly demanded to know where the “crack” and the cash were. The victim told him about some cannabis in the garage, to stop the beating.
Timu bound the man’s hands and feet with plastic binding tape and electrical cord from a fan. He then went out and got the cannabis before pouring bleach around the house and over the victim and leaving.
The man eventually got free and attracted help before he was taken away and hospitalised for operations and treatment to repair two broken eye sockets, a broken nose, two broken wrists, and deep cuts to his face and arms. He faces continuing treatment.
Timu declined to take part in a full pre-sentence interview, but he is assessed as being a high risk of causing harm to others.
Judge Garland increased the jail term for Timu’s record of violent offending, but reduced it for his guilty plea and his early acknowledgement to police that he was the home invader.
He also took into account the effects on the victim who has had to shift out of his home, leave the city, and give up a job he had enjoyed. The victim was present for Timu’s sentencing, but declined to make any comment afterwards.