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Supervision sentence comes after ‘extremely dangerous’ incident

A man appeared in Masterton District Court last week after pleading guilty to two charges of assault on a person in a family relationship and one charge of drink driving, following an incident that Judge Barbara Morris described as “extremely dangerous”.

The court heard how the defendant, Teone Lee, became angry with the female victim after she left the bar they were both at to buy cigarettes without telling him.

During a car ride later in the evening, he punched the victim in the face four times and pulled her hair while she was driving at speeds reaching 100kph.

The victim’s head was covered in blood after the incident, Morris said.

The court also heard that the defendant’s emotions were elevated at the time of the incident because of the recent disappearance of a family member in the Tararua Range and that his behaviour was “out of character”.

The defendant’s lawyer argued that his client would benefit from a community service-type outcome.

“He has been on bail for some time, and he did do some volunteering, for which he should receive credit, as well as for pleading guilty early on,” he said.

Determining his sentence, Judge Morris reminded Lee of the severity and risk his actions caused.

“Each time you punched her, you targeted her face, which was extremely dangerous,” she said.

That there was “no prior history of family violence” was to Lee’s credit, Judge Morris said.

“This was out of character for you.”

Judge Morris sentenced Lee to 180 days of supervised community work over a nine-month period and disqualified him from driving for six months, after which he can drive, provided he has no alcohol in his system.

Freddie Wilkie
Freddie Wilkie
Freddie Wilkie is a journalist at the Wairarapa Times-Age; originally moving from Christchurch, he is interested in housing stories as well as covering emergencies and crime.

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