Ex-McDonald’s manager gets home detention for assault

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A Queenstown McDonald’s duty manager who punched, stomped on and football kicked a customer has been sentenced to seven months’ home detention.

Fijian national Rishi Kumar, 34, was also ordered to complete 200 hours’ community work and to pay $2200 in reparation when he appeared for sentencing in Queenstown District Court today.

The court heard that Kumar, a married father of one, “snapped” after being verbally and racially abused by his drunken victim when he lashed out at his workplace at 3am on August 30.

The man had been told three times – twice by Kumar – to get out of an area in O’Connell’s Mall that was closed to the public.

On the third time, Kumar became fearful of the verbally abusive victim and grabbed his right arm, swung him round and punched him in the face with a closed fist.

Kumar then pulled the victim to the floor, stomped on his torso with his right foot and then with his left foot, “football kicked” the victim in the face, the court heard.

Kumar left the area and returned soon after with a mop to clean blood off the floor. He contacted the police.

Defence lawyer Phena Byrne told the court that Kumar “snapped”, as he had previously been subject to racial taunts and also been the victim of an assault at work.

“This is a one-off, violent, impulsive reaction.”

Judge Phillips didn’t accept Kumar was acting impulsively – “it was an attack calculated to hurt this man”, he said.

Judge Phillips took into account Kumar’s good character, early guilty plea and remorse when sentencing him. Of Kumar’s ordered payments, $2000 must go to the victim for emotional harm and $200 towards general reparation.

Kumar faces deportation after he serves his sentence. He no longer works for McDonald’s but his wife remains in employment there.