A man who viciously attacked three individuals within three months, including a violent attack with a bat at a petrol station, has avoided prison.

Nemaia Fiatau, 21, appeared in the Whangārei District Court for sentencing on violence charges that occurred between January and April 2023.

Fiatau’s most serious offence was at the Whangārei Gull service station in March 2023 where he was parked and recognised a man he had previously had altercations with pumping gas.

Fiatau began yelling abuse at the victim before going to the boot of his car and retrieving a wooden bat.

He approached the man and struck him in the head so hard, the bat flew out of his hands.

The victim was left with a fractured eye socket and required surgery.

A month earlier, Fiatau had pulled into BP Orewa to get gas, however, the attendant refused to unlock the pump as his car had been identified in previous petrol drive-offs.

He summonsed the attendant to come out and as he did, he asked: “What are you staring at?” before high-kicking the attendant in the jaw.

Fiatau’s last violent offence happened in April 2023 while his girlfriend drove a car he was a passenger in. He had been drinking and an argument started because she wanted to go home.

Fiatau pulled on the handbrake, went around to the driver’s side and grabbed her by the scruff of the neck.

Members of the public intervened and Judge John McDonald said the assault would have likely continued had it not been for their assistance.

“It’s unacceptable in our society for men to bash our women,” Judge McDonald said.

Judge McDonald said the bat attack was the most serious and he also condemned the assault on the BP worker.

“This was an attack on a BP attendant going about his day-to-day work just because he wouldn’t allow you to steal petrol.

“At 21 you know the difference between right and wrong.”

Fiatau had previously been working with The Grace Foundation which provided a report that assisted in giving him another chance.

“I am very grateful to the report from the Grace Foundation for the work they have done with you.

“I’m sure the Grace Foundation has told you time and time again, if you keep on this road you will end up in prison.

“It’s a waste of a man’s life to sit in a small cell in prison. It’s over to you whether you come back or not, I wish you well at The Grace Foundation, maybe I’ll never see you again,” Judge McDonald said.

Fiatau was sentenced to eight months of home detention.

Extracted in full from:  https://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/man-avoids-jail-for-several-assaults-including-one-with-a-bat-at-whangarei-petrol-station/BD3L2S4OZBCDDDFUOV2YA2L2FA/