‘No pity, no mercy’ for victim
Three West Coast men have been jailed for their vengeful assault on a man in the hours leading up to his suspected suicide.
Ricky William Carter, 45, Andrew Robert Crestani, 28, and Robin William Osborne, 22, were all jailed for assaulting the man, whose name is suppressed, in the Grey Valley on July 1, 2016.
Belinda Beverley Cunningham, 45, was sentenced to 10 months’ home detention for wounding with reckless disregard in relation to text messages she sent to her partner, Carter, that incited the violence.
The victim’s fiancee and father spoke at Tuesday’s sentencing in the Greymouth District Court about the devastating impact of the man’s death.
Carter and Cunningham had been growing cannabis. Text messages between them suggested it was worth $10,000.
On June 29, Carter believed the cannabis had been stolen by the victim, a close associate.
Text messages exposed a violent plan of vengeance and retribution against the victim, Judge Jane Farish said.
By 8pm on July 1, the three men had taken him into the car park of the Stillwater Hotel, about 14 kilometres east of Greymouth.
They inflicted a serious assault, which a witness said left the victim with swelling to the left side of his face and damage to his right eye.
The violence continued on Arnold Valley Rd in the Grey Valley, where Carter and Crestani left the victim severely wounded with no way home.
Judge Farish said the community should condemn the group’s actions. The level of violence was ‘‘extreme’’.
She noted the ‘‘extremely disappointing’’ actions of other people who tried minimise the offending when spoken to by police.
The judge said Carter was the ‘‘prime mover’’ in what happened that evening. ‘‘You treated [the victim] with no pity, no mercy.’’
Carter was sentenced to seven years’ jail for two counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and six months’ jail for unlawful possession of a firearm. The terms would be served concurrently.
Judge Farish said it was not Crestani’s fight, but he had a ‘‘strong sense of misguided loyalty’’.
She sentenced him to five years in prison for two counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and a concurrent six months for unlawful possession of a firearm.
Osborne had pleaded guilty to one count of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in June.
He drove the victim, who was ‘‘supposed to be a good mate’’, to the pub that evening. He denied striking the victim.
‘‘It’s irrelevant whether or not you struck him in the face,’’ Judge Farish told him.
Osborne was sentenced to two years and eight months’ in prison.
A jury in June found him not guilty of assaulting the victim at the second location.