R v Mamaia 2018 NZDC 4637

Published 15 March 2019

Sentencing — injuring with intent to injure — arson — cumulative sentence — R v Nuku [2004] BCL 1053. The defendant faced sentence for charges of injuring with intent to injure and arson. The charges arose out of two separate events. The first charge arose when the defendant joined two others in a repeated attack on a person who they had attempted to rob. The arson charge arose while the defendant was on bail for the injuring charge. Following an argument with the other occupant of the bail address, he deliberately set the house on fire, causing severe damage to the house and destroying almost all of the other person's belongings. Given the two separate sets of offending, the Crown called for cumulative sentences. The defendant argued that he should be sentenced for the arson, with an uplift for the assault. The Court agreed with the Crown; the two sets of offending were completely separate and unrelated, therefore cumulative sentences were necessary. The Court pointed out that the injuring with intent to injure charge involved a prolonged group attack, targeting the victim's head; while the arson posed a serious danger to other people's lives, and also occurred while the defendant was on bail. The starting point for sentence was six years and eight months, which was reduced by 25 percent to recognise the defendant's guilty plea. The Court considered the totality principle, reducing the sentence by another 18 months. The final sentence was three years six months' imprisonment. Judgment Date: 15 February 2018.