Woman thought driver would kill her and two children

A woman thought she was going to be killed along with two children in the car, when her ex-partner threatened to drive into a power pole unless she ended her cellphone call to the police.

“Your threats really scared her. She thought you were going to kill all of them,” said Christchurch District Court Judge Brian Callaghan as he sentenced Andre Porii Ioane.

The 23-year-old had admitted charges of assault, assault with a weapon, threatening to kill, kidnapping by detaining the woman with consent obtained through duress, and failing to answer his bail.

Judge Callaghan jailed him for two years three months after taking into account his age, his remorse expressed to the probation officer and in a letter to the judge, and his guilty pleas.

Defence counsel Jessica Bibby said Ioane had had a disadvantaged upbringing during which he witnessed domestic violence. “This became normalised for him,” she said.

During his time on remand, he had taken part in a Stopping Violence rehabilitation course, she said.

Crown prosecutor Sophia Bicknell said: “The victim was very frightened for her life, with good reason.”

At the time of the kidnapping and threatening incident, Ioane was already on bail a charge of assault with a weapon for throwing a mirror at his ex-partner. It missed.

On June 29, he became angry with the ex-partner, and pushed a table against her legs, trapping her in a corner. He then tried to pull their eight-week-old daughter out of her arms. The woman told him to stop because he was hurting the baby and he raised his fist and threatened to smash her face in. She ran to a neighbour’s house with the child.

On September 23, he was driving the woman and her two young children home to Southbridge from Christchurch. He became angry on the way, and told her he was not taking her home. He challenged her to call the police. “See if they can find you because I am going to take you far away.”

When she phoned the police, he told her to hang up or he would drive into a pole. She hung up because she was scared he would kill her and the the children.

He began driving erratically at high speeds, making the woman think he was going to drive off the road. He then slowed right down and threatened to push her out of the car and then kill her by running her over.

He then sped up again and threatened to kill them all by crashing.

The police then called back after her earlier hang-up. Ioane began counting down, and the woman took the hint and hung up again.

He stopped at Lincoln and told her she could get out, but she was afraid he would drive away with the children, so she climbed into the back seat with them.

She got them out of the car and tried unsuccessfully to wave down a passing car. Ioane persuaded her to get back in by pretending not to be angry, but when she got in he locked the doors and told her it was the worst mistake she had ever made.

The woman contacted her cousin over Facebook and asked her for help, telling her to call the police.

Ioane said he could not wait to drop the children off so he could beat her up and kill her.

He told his daughter: “Better get on the boob now as it’s the last drink of milk you will ever get.”

Ioane was eventually stopped by police and the woman jumped out with the children and ran for the patrol car.

He was arrested. He told police he had no recollection of the June 29 incident, and admitted parts of the September 23 incident. He admitted wanting to crash the car into a tree when he was stopped by the police.