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Man who stabbed pregnant partner receives sentence

A man who stabbed his pregnant partner with scissors has been sentenced to community detention after spending 289 days in police custody.

Cohen Waitere-Grant, 28, was sentenced in Masterton District Court yesterday, having admitted to wounding with intent to injure, which carries a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment.

On November 1, 2022, Waitere-Grant got into an argument with his then-partner and stabbed her in the leg with scissors.

Defence lawyer Mike Kilbride said his client has ADHD and Asperger’s syndrome but wants to get his life on track.

“He moved to Palmerston North as a fresh start, and he distanced himself from gangs several years ago,” Kilbride said.

“The last nine-and-a-half months have given him an opportunity to refocus; he has gotten guidance from other inmates and wants to improve himself.”

Waitere-Grant said he wants to change his life to be a better role model for his son.

Judge Barbara Morris said that given Waitere-Grant had prior convictions, the starting point for sentencing was 28 months imprisonment.

Reading from his cultural report, Judge Morris said his life had been filled with adversity.

“Your childhood left you with feelings of abandonment, but you’ve now reached a point not to let the past define your future.

“That’s not easy; it’s really hard. It will take a huge amount of grit and determination, but I believe you are in that spot to do that,” she said.

Considering those factors, Judge Morris said the nine-and-a-half months he had spent in police custody effectively served the punitive part of the sentence.

Judge Morris said he is a man with potential but noted he needs to work on his temper and learn not to be controlling in relationships.

She also noted that Waitere-Grant turned 28 the day before the sentencing. “Let that be the last time you’ll spend your birthday in prison,” she said.

The court issued a protection order against Waitere-Grant for the victim, so he cannot contact her without prior written approval from his probation officer.

He was sentenced to five months of community detention with an 8pm to 6am curfew and 18 months of intensive supervision, with a requirement to attend counselling.

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