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Gisborne District Court news

A woman admitted escaping from police on Christmas Day 2018, saying she did not want to miss her baby's first Christmas.

Dayna Te Kahu, 20, pleaded guilty to the escaping charge, one of drink-driving (250mcg) as an under 20-year-old, dating back to the same time, and three breaches of bail, all relating to Te Kahu's failure to attend court, hence the delayed sentencing.

Judge Stephanie Edwards said three breaches for failing to appear in court would normally result in a sentence in their own right. However, given Te Kahu's circumstances, the court would simply convict and discharge her on each.

For the escaping charge the judge imposed 12 months supervision. The penalty for the driving charge was limited to a mandatory three-month driver disqualification.

The judge said Te Kahu's life had changed markedly since this offending. Her family recognised it and so did Te Kahu, who commented in an interview for a pre-sentence report that she was previously “mischievous, irresponsible, mixing with the wrong crowd and getting into trouble”.

Te Kahu now had two children. She was keen to put the past behind her and pursue her goals, which included getting her limited driver licence and undertaking a mechanics qualification.

Anthony Regan Te Runa, 44, admitted driving while disqualified for a third or subsequent time — his fifth. He was sentenced to a month on community detention, six months supervision, and disqualified from driving for a year and a day.

The disqualification was backdated to the time of the offence, Te Runa having not driven since.

Judge Edwards said the sentence was designed to help Te Runa get a longstanding indefinite disqualification, lifted.

She noted there was no driver fault involved. Te Runa was taking his daughter's car to her.

Jordan Parekura Poi, 30, labourer, pleaded guilty to strangulation, assault on a person in a family relationship, and possession of an offensive weapon — an axe.

He was further remanded on bail for sentence on October 2. All sentencing options will be canvassed.

The strangulation and assault charge were referred back to the District Court after Poi was exited from the Family Harm Intervention Court.

A woman breached a previous sentence of community work because she had been living rough with her young child at the beach, the court was told.

But Mercedies Grace, 28, had since found accommodation and it was suitable for a sentence of community detention, counsel Heather Vaughn said.

It would be difficult for Grace to do further community work as she home- schooled her child, Ms Vaughn said.

Grace pleaded guilty to drink-driving (994mcg) for a third or subsequent time, her fifth, driving while unlicensed, a breach of community work, and a breach of supervision.

Judge Edwards imposed nine months supervision and five months community detention.

Grace was disqualified from driving for 12 months and will be subject to a zero-alcohol licence.

The previous community work sentence, on which there was 33 hours remaining, was cancelled. The previous sentence of supervision had expired.

Three young children were all present during a domestic dispute between a couple in which the man pushed, shoulder barged, and kicked his partner, the court was told.

Albert Tipu Atkins, 35, had been arguing with the woman about food wastage.

He pushed her head with both hands, causing it to hit a wall, then shouldered and shunted her into a lounge room on to a couch. She got up and went into another room but when she returned, Atkins kicked her in the thigh.

Information before the court recorded the woman's concern about how angry Atkins can get and her fear that he could more seriously hurt her.

The court was told Atkins has several previous convictions for family violence, the most recent (in April this year) against this same complainant.

Judge Edwards sentenced Atkins, who appeared via AV link from a prison remand unit, to five months imprisonment with six months release conditions.

She said it was a shame Atkins refused to undertake a 16-week residential programme in Hamilton, for which the probation service had begun the process of enrolling him. But he could do local programmes as part of his release conditions.

Reports for the court showed Atkins had been subjected to violence himself growing up and that his offending could be attributed to his inability to control his anger, and substance abuse.

The judge also noted the probation service's concern the dysfunctional relationship between Atkins and his partner will continue.

However, the woman had told the court she no longer wanted to be in the relationship and only to communicate with Atkins about their children. He was a good father and she wanted him to have an ongoing role in the children's upbringing.

A man due for sentence for fraudulently using a document had recently been arrested and now faced further charges of burglary and forgery, the court was told.

On those new charges, Leroy James Beattie, was further remanded in custody to appear in a list fixture on August 24. The sentencing matter will run alongside.

Leave to bring on a bail application ahead of that date was granted.