8 Feb 2013

Man who fatally beat teenager jailed 6 years

7:35 pm on 8 February 2013

Rowdy family members had to be removed from court on Friday as a man was sentenced for the manslaughter of a Kapiti teenager.

Manawanui Stewart, 26, was jailed for six years for beating and killing 17-year-old Izak Millanta outside the Coastlands Mall in Paraparaumu and other assaults in August last year.

Justice Ronald Young had to interrupt court proceedings twice during the sentencing at the Wellington High Court on Friday after family members from Stewart and Mr Millanta began yelling remarks from the public gallery.

Parents Christine and Steven Millanta left the court voluntarily after Justice Young's second request for calm, while another family member was ejected.

Stewart was sentenced to five for the manslaughter charge and received an additional four months for two other assaults he committed on the same night.

Justice Young reduced the sentence from eight years in jail to six because of Stewart's guilty plea.

Stewart's mother Cushla Goodman says her son has been misunderstood.

She told journalists outside his sentencing that Stewart usually tried to avoid violence.

"I just want people to know that he wasn't a bully. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. My son is very sorry for what he has done; truly he is. But that's not enough for the Millantas to understand," she said tearfully. "We're all victims."

Izak Millanta's mother Christine Millanta says Stewart's family will have the death on their conscience and must now live with his actions.

"It's a tainted, poisoned thing that they must carry; that their whakapapa carries and their ancestors and that's very strong to me. I hope that that gets across and they feel the weight of that and they will know that as time goes on."

She says she was at the sentencing to represent her son.