Helpful passers-by beaten

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By GUY WILLIAMS PIJF court reporter

A Queenstowner who beat up two Good Samaritans for about 10 minutes while they were trying to help his girlfriend has been given a chance to reform.

Sentencing 34-year-old Jason John Bastion in Queenstown’s court on Monday, Judge
Catriona Doyle highlighted his traumatic history as the victim of violence, neglect and abuse while a child.

Instead of going to prison, he needed help to change the way he responded when he felt threatened or upset, she said.

Although he can’t change his history, ‘‘what you can change now is what you choose to do in the future’’.

The police summary of facts says Bastion and his girlfriend began arguing as they  walked past the Queenstown Memorial Centre on Christmas Eve.

It escalated to the point where he was yelling and screaming at her as she lay on the ground in the foetal position.

That prompted a passerby to tell Bastion to leave her alone, and then follow him for a short distance.

However, the defend ant turned and punched the man in the face, twice.

When the victim regained his feet, Bastion pushed him over, thrust his face into the pavement and punched him in the back of the head.

A second onlooker then intervened.

Bastion responded by punching him twice in the face, too, and then returned to the first victim.

He grabbed the back of the man’s head and punched him three more times with ‘‘significant force’’.

When the second victim again intervened, Bastion punched him twice more in the head.

The attacks on the two men lasted for about 10 minutes, despite repeated attempts by the defendant’s girlfriend to restrain him.

Judge Doyle said Bastion was unrelenting in his attacks on the two men, ‘‘innocent members of the public acting as Good Samaritans’’.

He was on special release conditions at the time for other offending.

Bastion admitted two charges of assault with intent to injure, as well as one of assault in a family relationship stemming from an incident at his girlfriend’s home on April 25.

The pair had argued the night before and in the morning, when she refused an offer of a sandwich he had made, he threw it and other food at her, and sprayed her with water.

He then pushed her onto the bed, and when she got back to her feet, he grabbed her arms and pushed her against the wall, causing her to hit her head.

That assault occurred while he was on bail for the other two charges.

Taking account of Bastion’s early guilty pleas, expression of remorse and willingness to engage in restorative justice, Judge Doyle came to an end sentence of 16 months’ prison.

That was converted to eight months’ home detention, with conditions enabling intervention for his anger management and drug and alcohol issues.

Post-detention conditions would allow that intervention to continue for a further 12 months.

He must pay each of his male victims $500 reparation.

Other convictions

●  Wayne Phillip Duckmantion, 63, beneficiary, of Hawea Flat, possessing and cultivating
cannabis, March 23, Wanaka, convicted and discharged.
●  Cody Mark Diamond, 23, signwriter, of Frankton, drink-driving (556mcg), Castle  Street, March 27, Dunedin, fined $1000, disqualified 28 days, alcohol interlock provisions.
●  Jessica Mary Wilkinson, 43, of Christchurch, shoplifting, FreshChoice Queenstown,
March 20, New World Queenstown, March 21 and Super Liquor Remarkables Park, March
30; trespass, Woodbury Rise, April 2 and 3; unlawfully getting into a car, March 20, Queenstown, 12 months’ intensive supervision, reparation $42.