Originally published on the Gibsorne Herald website on 23/04/2018
Man gets home detention, told he was ‘lucky’
A Gisborne man who deliberately stamped on and killed a seven-week-old puppy he had given his partner has been sentenced to four months home detention.
It was essentially another act of family violence by a man who had other such convictions, although limited, Judge Haamiora Raumati said in Gisborne District Court.
Kristian Hamiora Nepe-Mikara, 24, pleaded guilty to recklessly ill-treating the puppy by assaulting it, causing it to die — a charge reduced from one originally alleging his actions were wilful.
He was also sentenced for breaching supervision. He received a further month on home detention — five months in total.
In relation to the incident with the puppy, the court was told Nepe-Mikara and his partner had been arguing.
The woman went inside and came out carrying a puppy he had previously given her.
Nepe-Mikara took it from her, held it by the scruff of its neck, put it on the footpath, and stood on it, killing it.
The breach, also admitted, represented numerous times he failed to report for a nine-month term imposed last August for assaulting a female, again his partner.
Counsel Manaaki Terekia referred the judge to a similar animal cruelty case containing the same aggravating and mitigating features as this one.
Aggravating it was the effect on a third party. Nepe-Mikara killed the puppy as a way of intimidating his partner and in doing so, knew the effect it would have on her, the judge said.
Mitigating it was the reactionary, impulsive nature of the offence — typical of impulsivity of young offenders.
Judge Raumati set a sentence starting point of 10 months imprisonment, uplifting it by two months for Nepe-Mikara’s prior family violence convictions (the 2017 assault on a female and a 2015 common assault).
He applied discounts of two months for Nepe-Mikara’s youth and prospects of rehabilitation and two months for his guilty pleas.
The sentence and a further two months imprisonment imposed for the breach of supervision, were commuted to home detention.
Three months and three weeks, Nepe-Mikara had already spent in custody were converted on a day for day basis as time already served on home detention.
He would now only have to serve one month and one week of the sentence imposed.
Post-detention conditions would apply.
Judge Raumati previously questioned the reduction of a cruelty charge, which occurred after negotiations between police and counsel.
Nepe-Mikara had been lucky, the judge said.