8 Apr 2013

Man jailed nine years for street attack

6:59 pm on 8 April 2013

A man has been jailed nine years for a street attack in Wellington that left his victim needing round-the-clock care.

Ioritana Tuau, 22, was sentenced in the Wellington High Court on Monday on one charge of wounding Robert Bryden with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm.

After an earlier altercation in September 2011, Tuau chased Mr Bryden and beat him in a sustained attack, including stomping on his head.

Despite intensive rehabilitation, the attack has left Mr Bryden with the cognitive ability of a young child.

He does not remember the names of his family, can no longer read and write and needs help with basic tasks including toileting and feeding.

Justice Miller said Mr Bryden's earlier assault on Ioritana Tuau was serious - but by no measure comparable with what was done to him - and there was no reason to believe that he had meant to cause Tuau serious injury.

The judge said Tuau continued kicking Mr Bryden's head, even when he lapsed into unconscious, and held a handrail to obtain more leverage and power during the attack.

He said Tuau had breached bail four times while on remand, twice involving alcohol and twice involving fighting, which was very disturbing.

Tuau was ordered to serve at least four-and-a-half years of the nine-year sentence.

Justice Miller said two other men had been involved in the attack, but it was unclear what role they had played.

Outside court, Robert Bryden's mother pleaded for the community to do more to stop such attacks.

Vicki Bryden acknowledged that her son punched Tuau first, but says he stepped in to stop what he thought was a woman being harassed.

Ms Bryden says no sentence would ever rectify what Tuau had done to her son and it is distressing to see the state the attack has left him in.