Chair attacker sentenced


A 19-year-old Queenstowner who hit another man several times with a chair in the resort last year has been sentenced.

In the Queenstown District Court on Monday, Judge Christina Cook sentenced Sylek Mikaere to five months’ community detention, with a curfew, 150 hours’ community work and nine months’ supervision.

Special conditions were added ordering the teenager not to possess, consume or use alcohol or drugs and to complete alcohol and drugs counselling and treatment.

Mikaere, who previously admitted injuring with intent, might have gone to jail.

Cook’s starting point for sentencing was 30 months behind bars.

Aggravating circumstances included the use of the chair as a weapon, hitting the victim about the head and the nature of the assault.

But the sentence was reduced for factors such as his young age, guilty plea, and willingness to participate in restorative justice.

He also got a discount for the time he’s already spent in custody and on electronically monitored bail.

The October 30 melee left victim Andrew Lee with lacerations to the head and arms and a concussion.

Cook said during a fight Mikaere picked up a chair, brought it over his head and forcefully swung it down onto Lee.

After hitting him again, both men ended up on the ground throwing punches.

Lee tried to run away but tripped over two men wrestling - at which point Mikaere again picked up the chair and struck him.

The victim curled into the fetal position.

But Mikaere continued, hitting him forcefully four more times over his head and body before leaving the scene.