Man admits causing serious injuries

A man who seriously assaulted both a work-mate and his partner in separate incidents, pleaded guilty to two charges of intentionally injuring his victims, at the Christchurch District Court.

Tumahana John Ponga, a 45-year-old fencer from Malvern Hills in Selwyn District, went to an address in Rolleston in November to confront his work-mate, and punched him twice in the face.

The men went outside and he punched him again in the face, and pushed his head into the outside wall of the house.

He used his elbows and fists to hit the man, and told him to get into his car and they both left the address.

Ponga assaulted the man again, and left him at the Hororata Domain.

When the police found the 20-year-old the next day he had significant swelling to his right eye and bruising to both cheeks. He was taken to Christchurch Hospital for scans and x-rays and suffered a displaced right nasal bone fracture.

When Ponga was told by police the man had serious injuries he told them, “My mother used to hit me harder than that.”

In March 2018, Ponga was at a party with his partner. Ponga got into an argument with another party goer and his partner pulled him away.

Ponga put a hand around his partner’s neck and squeezed tightly, telling her to stay out of it.

They left the party, but as she drove they were arguing, then he grabbed her hair and punched her in the left jaw.

She lost control of the car, which struck road cones and came to a stop. She was assisted by a passer-by.

She suffered bruising and scratches to her neck, and her jaw was fractured in two places requiring surgery and the insertion of five plates.

Ponga told police she must have been hurt when she crashed the car.

Judge Jane Farish remanded Ponga in custody for sentencing on November 29. She referred the case for possible restorative justice meetings, and asked for victim impact reports to be prepared for the sentencing. She also ordered a pre-sentence report.


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