An argument over who drank whose beer ended with an elderly amputee being attacked with rocks outside a mixed martial arts gym.
Anaru Rakai Tuau’s daylight attack left his 80-year-old victim with cuts to his head and hand, and his mobility scooter with a broken wing mirror.
Tuau, 33, pleaded guilty in the Palmerston North District Court on Tuesday to assault.
He and his victim were drinking in the Albert Sports Bar in Palmerston North on the afternoon of February 2 before having an argument, as Tuau had allegedly drunk some of the victim’s beer.
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The victim went to leave, but was confronted by Tuau and an associate.
Tuau broke the wing mirror off the man’s mobility scooter as he tried to drive around the pair.
Tuau and his associate then threw rocks at the man while he fled in the direction of The Fight Shop, a mixed martial arts gym on Church St.
The man managed to get across Albert St, despite being held up by traffic, but Tuau caught up with him.
Tuau pushed the man off the scooter before he and his associate left, using an outside tap at a nearby house to wash their hands.
He told police the man had been ramming him with the scooter.
Tuau was screened for mental health issues before being allowed to plead to the charge, as he had disputed every part of the summary of facts on an earlier occasion.
Community liaison nurse Grahame Stillwell said Tuau told him it was a drunken incident.
While having issues with alcohol, Tuau was being seen by his doctor, Stillwell said.
“He is fit to plead.”
However, Tuau was wondering why his associate had not faced any charges, Stillwell said.
That question was not answered in court, and Judge Stephanie Edwards remanded Tuau on bail until June for sentencing.
Defence lawyer Marina Anderson said Tuau wanted to take part in restorative justice, as he was sorry for what he had done.
But the judge said that would not happen as the victim said in his impact statement his age and health issues would get in the way.