Man jailed over ‘drunken night of stu­pid­ity’

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By BELINDA FEEK

A Mata­mata man has been jailed af­ter punch­ing two men, in­clud­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer who he knocked un­con­scious.

An­thony Al­lan Mcal­lis­ter, 38, was sen­tenced to two years and three months in jail in the Hamil­ton Dis­trict Court yes­ter­day af­ter the drunken at­tack on Se­nior Con­sta­ble Martin Capener and pub pa­tron Joe Tokona.

The as­saults oc­curred

out­side TRAC Sports bar on Novem­ber 10 last year.

Mcal­lis­ter pleaded guilty to a charge of wound­ing Mr Capener with in­tent to in­jure part way through a one-day trial in Septem­ber.

He had ear­lier pleaded guilty to a charge of in­jur­ing Mr Tokona with in­tent to in­jure.

Judge David Ruth ac­cepted Mcal­lis­ter’s own de­scrip­tion of the in­ci­dent as ‘‘one drunken night of stu­pid­ity’’.

Mcal­lis­ter was drink­ing at the bar with his part­ner when he be­came in­volved in a ver­bal dis­agree­ment with Mr Tokona just be­fore 1am.

Mr Capener and another con­sta­ble were on duty at the bar, and were stand­ing out­side when Mcal­lis­ter punched Mr Tokona re­peat­edly in the head.

Mr Capener grabbed Mcal­lis­ter, pulling him away from Mr Tokona and across the road to his pa­trol car.

But once there, Mcal­lis­ter re­mained ‘‘gen­er­ally ag­gres­sive’’, and was pep­per sprayed by Mr Capener, an of­fi­cer of 27 years.

He re­sponded by punch­ing Mr Capener twice in the head, knock­ing him to the ground.

Mr Capener suf­fered a large gash to his face that re­quired 11 stitches, along with a num­ber of other small cuts to his face, bruis­ing and a bro­ken rib.

In press­ing for his client to avoid a jail term, Mcal­lis­ter’s coun­sel Rus­sell Boot told Judge Ruth Mcal­lis­ter had abided by his strict bail con­di­tions and was very re­morse­ful for what hap­pened.

Mr Boot said Mr Tokona had even ac­cepted pro­vok­ing Mcal­lis­ter to an ex­tent, say­ing he de­served the beat­ing he got.

Judge David Ruth said the lead charge was the at­tack on Mr Capener as he was a po­lice of­fi­cer and was there to pro­tect the pub­lic, not to be as­saulted by them, de­spite it be­ing a risk of the job.

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