GRAPHIC CONTENT – The video accompanying this story contains violence
One of three men responsible for a violent gang beating captured on the gang’s own CCTV security system has been sent to jail but is likely to be released in a month’s time.
Michael Howlett was arrested after police recovered the CCTV footage at the property of senior Mongrel Mob member Paul “PC” Chadwick last year.
Chadwick had forgotten to delete the footage, which showed himself and George “Hori” Taite beating another man while Howlett looked on.
* Judge allows release of gang members CCTV footage showing violent bashing * Gang members forget to delete damning footage of themselves beating a man * Paul Chadwick wanted on serious assault charges * Witness intimidation by Mongrel Mob now routine in Hawke’s Bay, says judge * Driver involved in fatal Mongrel Mob plunge was on methamphetamine
While Chadwick and Taite pleaded guilty to injuring with intent, Howlett pleaded not guilty to being a party to the assault, claiming that although he took the victim to Chadwick’s address, he didn’t know he was going to get beaten.
The footage was played to Judge Stephen Harrop at Napier District Court during Howlett’s trial last month.
Howlett, 27, who claimed he was not a gang member, was found guilty.
On Wednesday Judge Harrop sentenced him to 18 months jail.
He has already served eight months while on remand so will most likely be released in a month’s time.
Judge Harrop accepted that Howlett was remorseful, though this had been expressed after his trial, but noted his extensive criminal history.
He said Howlett must have known the victim would be assaulted when he took him to Chadwick’s property.
The footage showed a vicious assault on an unidentified man in which he was kicked and punched to the ground, then had his head stomped. The beating lasted 45 seconds and left the man unconscious and badly injured.
When it ended he was handed a cloth to clean blood from his face and taken to a hose to wash himself.
Stuff successfully applied for access to the footage, with Judge Harrop over-ruling objections by lawyers for the three men.
Chadwick, 52, and Taite, 35, were jailed in November last year after pleading guilty to charges of injuring with intent. They were jailed for two years and three months, and two years and seven months respectively.
The assault occurred on the evening of July 1 last year. The victim, in his 30s, arranged for Howlett to drive him and his girlfriend to Napier from Hastings.
But instead of being taken to Napier, they were taken to the home of Chadwick, a senior gang member.
Chadwick and Taite punched him numerous times until he lost consciousness and fell to the ground.
The victim suffered fractures to his right eye socket, a cut above his eye requiring stitches, swelling and bruising to both eyes and nose, and extensive swelling to his face and jaw.