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Gay man's life "totally ruined" by club attack

Tue 28 Feb 2012 In: New Zealand Daily News

Trevor KauKau An Auckland man who king hit a gay man outside a Karanahape Rd nightclub was told he has “totally ruined” his brain-damaged victim’s life, as he was sent to jail. Sitaleki Langi Koloamatangi, 20, was imprisoned for a year after pleading guilty to the charge of injuring that, had death been caused, he would have been guilty of manslaughter. He punched then 40-year-old Trevor KauKau to the ground outside a club on Auckland’s gay hotspot K’ Rd, and left him unconscious on the pavement, after KauKau twice propositioned him. KauKau has brain damage as a result. In sentencing Koloamatangi at the Auckland District Court this morning, Judge Roy Wade said his remorse in a recent letter to his victim was “too little too late”. “It’s insufficient to simply write a letter and assume judge will conclude an offender is truly remorseful. Far from showing any remorse whatsoever you breached bail not once, not twice, not three times, but four times,” Judge Wade pointed out. He added that Koloamatangi “couldn’t be bothered” to turn up to two appointments with a probation officer for pre-sentencing reports to be written, which is why he was remanded in custody last year to await his sentence. “Your behaviour, unhappily, speaks all too clearly about whether your remorse is genuine,” Judge Wade said. “I do not think home detention is suitable in your case nor is it appropriate. I bear in mind the devastating effects on your victim.” Earlier a Crown Prosecutor said the letter and its professed remorse came very late, and too late in the piece to be any solace to the victim. He said KauKau is a good man, committed to the community and his family, and his brain damage is a severe loss, and “simply tragic”. Koloamatangi’s defence lawyer maintained the letter to KauKau was a genuine expression of remorse, that he was unlikely to reoffend, has completed a drug and alcohol programme while in prison, and clearly has a supportive family. She said the punch was not premeditated and Koloamatangi did not go out looking for a fight that night, but it was “very much a case of trouble coming to him”. The defence contends he punched KauKau after the gay 40-year-old sexually propositioned him twice, “and like many young men he responded badly to that. No one is suggesting that was appropriate, but he didn’t go out looking for a fight.” Her request for home detention was denied. Sporting a rats tail, and wearing a striped t-shirt, Koloamatangi remained emotionless throughout the sentencing, while some members of his large family contingent were in tears outside court following the hearing. He has already served two and a half months of the one year sentence while waiting sentencing. You can discuss this New Zealand gay community news story in the GayNZ.com Forum    

Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff

First published: Tuesday, 28th February 2012 - 1:06pm

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