25 Oct 2013

Man who put partner in car boot jailed

7:07 pm on 25 October 2013

A man who admitted kidnapping a woman, before she was dragged along behind his vehicle while trying to escape, has been sentenced to six years and five months in jail.

Sonny Waiti was sentenced in the Rotorua District Court on Friday.

In May, the 26-year-old put his partner, Ana Eriepa, in his car boot and started driving.

The 37-year-old managed to get out of the boot, but her ankle got caught between the bumper and tow bar and she was dragged along State Highway 1 near Tokoroa for almost two kilometres.

Ms Eriepa's injuries included multiple fractures and severe grazing and her foot had to be amputated following the incident.

Waiti told police he thought Ms Eriepa was cheating on him and put her in the boot to show her that he loved her. He had been drinking heavily and taking drugs on the day, the court was told.

During sentencing, Waiti was taken from the court after he became abusive and accused the judge of being on a high horse.

Judge James Weir said the most aggravating feature was the harm Ms Eriepa suffered. He said Ms Eriepa was vulnerable and Waiti easily overpowered her and forced her into the boot of the vehicle.

Earlier, the court was told of a letter written by Ms Eriepa saying she had got into the boot of her own accord, but Judge Weir said Waiti had written to her to have her say that she wanted to be in the boot.

The judge set a minimum period of imprisonment of four years.