At­tacked teenager fo­cused on re­cov­er­ing

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE -

His at­tacker is be­hind bars but the or­deal is not over for Seth Tera more than a year af­ter he was bru­tally at­tacked in Toko­roa.

Last week Dion Bolt, 19, was sen­tenced to seven years and six months for the at­tempted murder of Seth on Septem­ber 12 last year.

Seth, 16, was left fight­ing for his life af­ter Bolt ran him down in a 4WD ve­hi­cle at 3.40am.

As Seth lay in­jured on the ground, Bolt took a claw ham­mer from his ve­hi­cle and struck the teen in the head, frac­tur­ing his skull.

Six­teen-year-old Seth sat at the back of the High Court in Ro­torua and wept as de­tails of the un­pro­voked at­tack on him were re­vealed dur­ing the sen­tenc­ing.

Speak­ing out­side the court, Seth said he had no me­mory of the at­tack and wanted to fo­cus on do­ing well at school.

‘‘ Mum and Dad have been amaz­ing and they are al­ways there to lis­ten to me,’’ he said.

‘‘Dad is re­ally keen for me to get back on the rugby field and is help­ing me get bet­ter.’’

Seth’s mother Liz Tera said, ‘‘The only way we’ve man­aged to get through this past year is by fo­cus­ing on Seth and get­ting him bet­ter. I haven’t let my­self think about (Bolt) but I still feel for his fam­ily. He’s still a baby him­self.’’

She was de­ter­mined Seth would make a full re­cov­ery.

‘‘As long as he al­lows me to keep push­ing him he’ll get there.’’

Jus­tice Wylie said the un­pro­voked at­tack was ‘‘ ap­palling of­fend­ing’’ against a de­fence­less youth. He im­posed a min­i­mum non-pa­role pe­riod of three years and nine months.

Seth suf­fered a de­pressed and frac­tured skull, punc­tured lungs, mul­ti­ple bro­ken bones and chest in­juries. He needed emer­gency brain surgery and spent more than three weeks re­cov­er­ing in Waikato Hos­pi­tal.

Mr Tera said her ‘‘ beau­ti­ful­na­tured child’’ still bore emo­tional and phys­i­cal scars from the at­tack and had en­dured pro­longed and ex­pen­sive rehabilitation treat- ment. Seth, a tal­ented chess and rugby player, now strug­gled to fo­cus at school and re­call in­for­ma­tion.

In im­pos­ing sen­tence, Jus­tice Wylie gave Bolt credit for his guilty plea but ques­tioned the ex­tent of his re­morse.

Three other men charged in re­la­tion to the at­tack are still be­fore the courts.

Photo: DO­MIN­ION POST

RE­COV­ER­ING: Seth Tera em­braces his mother Liz out­side Ro­torua High Court af­ter his at­tacker was sen­tenced.

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