A “revenge attack” is how a judge describes an incident in Queenstown in 2014 during which three men were unlawfully detained in a cabin and one was assaulted.
In the Invercargill District Court yesterday judge Brian Callaghan jailed Pita William Wilson, 40, of Glenorchy, the key person in the incident, for three years and 10 months.
After a seven-day trial in Invercargill which ended earlier this month, Wilson was found guilty of kidnapping Joseph Armstrong, Andrew Lee and Casey Johnston between November 25 and 26, 2014, and injuring Armstrong with intent to injure.
Callaghan says the prison term is appropriate, given Wilson’s actions on the night and his previous numerous convictions for violence.
The jury found Armstrong was detained and assaulted in his home, a cabin in the Lakeview Holiday Park, by Wilson and Joshua Veint, also of Glenorchy, while Mark Junior Taylor, of Bluff, who was 17 at the time, acted as a lookout and prevented the complainants from leaving the cabin until the morning of November 26.
Callaghan says while Wilson and his friends hadn’t gone to the cabin with the intention of assaulting Armstrong, Wilson had gone there to confront Armstrong, in the belief he had slept with his girlfriend, and an assault occurred.
“I agree while this wasn’t a home invasion, it became a revenge attack.”
Veint pleaded guilty to kidnapping Armstrong and assaulting him with intent to injure. Last month, Callaghan sentenced him to two years’ imprisonment.
Wilson’s lawyer, John Westgate, of Dunedin, says while the only appropriate sentence for his client was a longer sentence of imprisonment than Veint received, how much longer was the question.
The incident was serious, but not as serious as some other injuring with intent to injure cases, he said.
An assault had clearly occurred, but at some point during the night it was “largely sorted out” and both Wilson and Armstrong went into the lounge and smoked meth together, he said.
Armstrong’s injuries were not serious – “no broken bones or teeth” and he did not require hospitalisation.
In the morning, Lee and Johnston woke up and went to work, which Westgate indicated they were not afraid of leaving the cabin.
For the Crown, Mitchell McClenaghan says Wilson was the “key instigator in the incident and took Veint and Taylor along for the ride”.
Armstrong’s injuries including significant bruising and swelling, lacerations and two cuts to his hands.
Taylor was sentenced yesterday to three months’ community detention and 160 hours of community work on one charge of being a party to assaulting Armstrong.
Callaghan said a community-based sentence was appropriate because of his age, his limited involvement and the fact he was a first offender.
In submissions yesterday, Taylor’s lawyer, David Slater, of Invercargill, says it’s clear from the evidence given at the trial his client “didn’t do anything physical” to Armstrong.
Otago Daily Times