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Sentenced for assault

A gang member who held a woman captive in a car for hours and assaulted her with an ornamental dagger because he believed she was selling meth for a rival gang has been jailed for three years.

Charles Shane Newton, 50, was also issued a Three Strike warning at his sentencing by Judge Warren Cathcart in Gisborne District Court yesterday afternoon.

The sentence covered three charges — unlawful detention (kidnapping), assault with a weapon and assault of a female — all relating to the later of two incidents said to have occurred at a property in Chamberlain Street, Wairoa, on November 8.

Newton pleaded guilty to two of the charges — the kidnapping and assault with a weapon — after the first day of his jury trial, which began in the court on Monday.

He pleaded guilty to the charge of assaulting a female at the outset of the trial.

His guilty pleas came after the Crown agreed to withdraw charges alleging sexual misconduct with the same complainant, arising out of the alleged earlier incident.

Discharging the jury, Judge Warren Cathcart told them he approved the agreement between prosecutor Steve Manning and counsel Leighvi Maynard to amend the charges faced by Newton.

The decision was discussed with the complainant.

The jury was told by the judge that the Crown's case against Newton on the sexual misconduct matters was a challenging one from the outset as the complainant described succumbing to those alleged offences under feelings of duress — not physically resisting.

Even if the jury accepted she was not consenting, the Crown still needed to prove Newton did not believe she was not consenting.

The later incident, to which the admitted charges related, involved Newton driving the complainant to a relative's house where he kept her under duress in his car for several hours while he and others accused her of selling drugs for a rival gang (the Barbarians).

During the incident he jabbed her about 10 times in the abdomen with a knife she described as an ornamental dagger.

She was eventually allowed to leave the property but as she did, Newton punched her hard in the jaw.

The blow knocked her sunglasses off her head and left her with a large egg-shaped bruise,which she said looked like a second chin.