New Zealand Police v Hiku [2017] NZDC 4292

Published 17 July 2017

Sentencing — assault with intent to injure — assaulting a child. The defendant was sentenced on three representative charges of assaulting a child, one stand-alone charge of assaulting a child, and charges of assault with intent to injure. The assaults included pushing, punching about the head, kicking whilst wearing shoes, dropping a child from a height above the defendant's head and slapping. One victim received minor injuries as a result of an assault. In sentencing the Court took into account the victim impact statements, section 9A of the Sentencing Act which has specific regard to offending against children. The Court found that the lead charge was assaulting with intent to injure, and that a punch to the face of a child was extreme violence. The court considered that the aggravating features of the offending were that it involved multiple victims, was repetitive, and involved attacks to the head. The Court considered that there were no mitigating features as the pre-sentence report notes that the defendant was not remorseful and claimed that some of the incidents were fabricated. A 15% discount was given for a guilty plea, as one was not entered at the earliest possible opportunity. The Court considered that the purposes and principles of the Sentencing Act could be met by a sentence of home detention after a careful consideration. The defendant was sentenced to a total of one year home detention on the charge of assault with intent to injure, and with respect to the other assault charges, the defendant was sentenced to six months' home detention to be served concurrently.