Man who used hammer and pliers to torture woman jailed

12:14 pm on 30 June 2016

An Auckland man who horrifically tortured a woman for days with a hammer and pliers has been jailed for six-and-a-half years.

Coat of Arms inside the High Court in Rotorua

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The 40-year-old, who has name suppression to protect the victim, was sentenced at the Auckland High Court today.

He was found guilty of kidnapping, disfiguring with intent to injure and wounding with intent to injure.

In 2014, the solo father met the young woman, who was 17 at the time and a runaway from state care with a troubled history.

They soon became romantically involved and he asked her to move in with him and his daughter.

A few days before Christmas, the man accused her of inappropriately touching his daughter, and told her she had to be punished if she wanted to remain in his home.

The man then broke one of her fingers with a hammer while he gagged her, while listening to one his favourite songs.

The woman was rushed to hospital where she underwent surgery.

When she returned to his house expecting for their relationship to resume, he told her she hadn't been punished enough, and tied her up with cable ties in his living room where she remained for several days.

During that time, the man used pliers to break her teeth and threatened greater force if she resisted.

A forensic dentist told the court a considerable amount of violence was used, and the woman later had to undergo dental restoration.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said she had lasting physical effects from the abuse, adding to her already fragile mental health.

Justice Timothy Brewer told the court the man was violent, cruel and degrading in his treatment of the vulnerable woman who was so much younger than he was.

The man exploited his power over the woman, who was emotionally, physically and financially dependent on him, and showed no remorse or sense of responsibility for his actions, the judge said.

He said domestic violence was far too common in New Zealand, and far too often the victims were vulnerable women.

Justice Brewer sentenced the man to six-and-a-half years for kidnapping, five years for disfiguring and three years for wounding with intent to injure.

The sentences would be served concurrently for an overall sentence of six-and-a-half years.