1493268517249 - Workplace assault at Taranaki petrol station sees man lose job

Workplace assault at Taranaki petrol station sees man lose job

Lashing out at a co-worker and throttling him has cost a Taranaki man his job.

On February 4, Tansley Morere Ratapu turned up for his shift at New Plymouth’s Challenge Spotswood service station.

His workmate, who is the victim, was already at the South Rd business when Ratapu arrived at 11pm.

Sergeant Lewis Sutton told the New Plymouth District Court that Ratapu started to get aggressive towards the victim not long after he got to work.

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“The defendant was agitated that the victim had not completed reconciling the tills and eftpos terminals in readiness for his shift and an argument ensued,” Sutton said.

It then turned physical.

Ratapu pushed his workmate in the chest and into a storage unit before he grabbed the victim by the neck with one hand and pushed his head backwards, Sutton said.

The defendant then throttled the victim by shaking the victim’s head while holding him around the neck.

Sutton said the victim was left with scratches and soreness to his neck, along with a sore back but did not need medical treatment.

Ratapu pleaded guilty to a charge of assault when he appeared in court on Thursday.

Lawyer Nathan Bourke asked for a sentence of community work to be imposed on his client.

“This was a workplace incident that escalated out of control,” Bourke said.

As a result of the attack, Ratapu lost his job and was looking at a move to Christchurch for other employment opportunities, he said.

Bourke said Ratapu regretted his actions, which he described as a “one-off” incident, and had pleaded guilty at an early opportunity.

Judge Chris Sygrove told Ratapu his aggressive response was out of line but community work was an appropriate penalty.

Ratapu was ordered to complete 60 hours. 

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