Of­fender avoids jail

Kaikoura Star - - NEWS -

A former Blen­heim man sav­agely beat a teenager he thought had stolen his be­long­ings then went to the po­lice sta­tion to tell them what he had done, po­lice say.

In the Blen­heim District Court on Mon­day, 35-year-old Kaik­oura tech­ni­cian Brad Fran­cis Hutchin­son was sen­tenced to eight months’ home de­ten­tion af­ter ad­mit­ting a charge of wound­ing with reck­less dis­re­gard for safety af­ter the at­tack which left his 19-year-old vic­tim with breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties and pos­si­bly in need of a metal plate in his face. He was also or­dered to pay $800 in repa­ra­tion to the vic­tim.

Judge Tony Zohrab said Hutchin­son went to the man’s house about 4pm on Septem­ber 23, ac­cus­ing him of steal­ing his div­ing gear. When the man de­nied it the en­raged Hutchin­son punched him six times in the head and kicked him in the back of the legs, he said.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor Sergeant Gra­ham Sin­gle said Hutchin­son had re­ported the theft to po­lice but be­came an­gry with the lack of an ar­rest. Af­ter the at­tack he went straight to Blen­heim po­lice sta­tion and made a full state­ment about what he had done, he said.

Judge Zohrab said the at­tack broke the teenager’s cheek­bone and left him with black eyes and ex­ten­sive bruis­ing to his face and legs. The vic­tim had to drink through a straw for some weeks af­ter­wards, he said.

The at­tack cost him $1500 in time off work and had left him scared to an­swer the door and para­noid about be­ing left home alone, he said.

De­fence lawyer Philip Wat­son said Hutchin­son had a brain in­jury which made it dif­fi­cult for him to con­trol his anger and he had been un­der stress af­ter the death of his grand­fa­ther. He had moved to Kaik­oura since, he said.

Judge Zohrab said Hutchin­son had stopped us­ing cannabis and be­gun us­ing pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tion to con­trol his moods and for de­pres­sion. That, along with his head in­jury, saved him from be­ing sent to prison. But any more of­fend­ing would see him im­pris­oned as Hutchin­son had been of­fered help by the courts for his anger is­sues many times in the past and this was a vi­o­lent as­sault fol­low­ing other as­sault con­vic­tions, he said.

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