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Pure hate, random violence

Tue 2 Apr 2013 In: Our Communities View at Wayback View at NDHA

We last updated our list of violence against members of our community in 2006. Since then, seven gay men and one trans woman have been killed in New Zealand, while numerous others have been left physically and emotionally scarred from random assaults on our streets. While it can never be a complete list, we have collated the information we have unearthed, and welcome updates. DANNII, 2013 Reported, charges laid. David Playle, 32, says his 28-year-old boyfriend Dannii’s cheek was fractured when he was bashed by a group of men early on a Sunday morning in March. The couple had been walking home from a party with a friend when someone yelled out "faggot" near the corner of Courtenay Place and Cambridge Terrace about 1.30am. They were shocked and tried to defuse the situation with friendly banter. Playle says a group of men then ran up and attacked their friend, and when his boyfriend tried to intervene they punched him in the face until he fell to the ground. He chased the attackers to Waitangi Park, where a police patrol was parked. Two men were later arrested and charged. Ambulance staff initially thought Dannii's jaw was fractured, but x-rays revealed it was cheek bone that had been broken. NAME WITHHELD, 2013 Reported and charges laid. A gay Auckland man in his 30s was attacked by “four thugs” on the corner of the Ponsonby end of Karangahape Rd and Hereford St in the early hours of 22 February. Street workers stepped in to help the man, who fought back against the four attackers. Police were quick to act and the victim was able to pick the alleged offenders out from a line-up. All four arrested are teenagers and are now facing assault-related charges. NAME WITHHELD, 2013 Unsolved. Young gay man hospitalised after being knocked to the ground and kicked in the head by two assailants, 11.45PM on 9 January. He was about to get out of his car in a Karangahape Road side street when two youths asked him for cigarettes. Still in his car he said he didn't have any and showed them an empty packet. One of the pair then grabbed the key from the car's ignition and when the gay man got out to try to get them back he was attacked. NAME WITHHELD, 2012 Reported, no charges laid. A 23-year-old gay Auckland man was set upon in an unprovoked attacked as he walked on Mercury Lane, near the city's gay nightlife on December 28, a Friday night. A man "body-slammed" through a group of gay men, then punched the victim and slammed him face-first into the concrete. The man had to be pulled off by his "cousins" as he continued his attack. "I have a few fractures in my cheekbone and just near my left eye, some stitches in my chin. Half my face is numb, and I am extremely tired. My head hurts like crazy and I have to take a lot of drugs over the next few days to make sure I get better,” the victim told us. ROMAN SKOREK, 2012 Case still before the courts: Rawiri James Samuel, 22, has already been sentenced to at least 12 years in prison, after admitting his part in this attack. Three other men are yet to stand trial. Roman Skorek’s body was found mutilated in Kuirau Park on January 23. The 64-year-old was had been drinking with a group of young men in the park when Samuel became angry because the older man looked at his crotch area. A post mortem found Skorek had had a deep skull fracture and his carotid artery severed. He also suffered severe bruising and lacerations. His death was caused by a stab wound to his chest. ZAKK D’LARTE, 2012 Reported but unsolved. Auckland 18-year-old Zakk d’Larte was left out cold in a gutter after being attacked at Westhaven Marina on a Saturday night in May. He says says three men approached him and started hitting on him after he left a party around 7PM. He believes they thought he was a girl, and when they realised he was a guy they started abusing him. He says they told him he was disgusting, a burden on society, and that they wish they could “do to the gays what Hitler did to the Jews”. d’Larte says he was pushed to the ground and kicked repeatedly, and woke up hours later in the gutter. GORDON TUNNICLIFFE, 2012 An Auckland hitchhiker was been jailed for at least ten years after bashing a 64-year-old man to death after he made an "unwelcome sexual advance". Morgan Wayne Knight, 21, was sentenced at the High Court at Rotorua for the murder of Gordon Tunnicliffe in Tokaanu, near Turangi, in April. He’d earlier pleaded guilty to the charge. Knight was given a lift by Tunnicliff, and offered work to trim trees and a bed overnight at his home near Tokaanu. Late the same night the pair were watching television when Knight overreacted to a sexual advance by the victim who lent across and touched his crotch area, the court heard. Knight bashed the victim unconscious around the head and chest, stomping on his head 5 to 6 times, and leaving him lying on the floor bleeding while he ransacked his house and stole the victim's property. Tunnicliffe died two weeks later in Hastings from the injuries. In sentencing Justice Kit Toogood said Knight's actions were a "spontaneous overreaction to an unwelcome sexual advance”. PHILLIP COTTRELL, 2011 Wellington journalist Phillip Cottrell, 40, died in hospital after being attacked in on Boulcott Street as he walked home from an overnight shift at Radio New Zealand in December. Nicho Allan Waipuka, 20, was found guilty of his manslaughter a year later. He had admitted punching Cottrell, causing him to fall and hit his head on a concrete path. Between Waipuka's punching and the impact with the concrete Cottrell's skull was broken into 20 pieces. His arm was broken in two places and he suffered multiple injuries to his face and neck. The jury heard from a number of witnesses that Waipuka and Manuel Renera Robinson, 18, had been wandering about the Boulcott Street area of downtown Wellington, with Waipuka in particular acting aggressively and spoiling for a fight. The Crown alleged that both men attacked Cottrell during which they stomped on his head. Waipuka's girlfriend Sylvanna Robinson-Stepien, who is also Robinson's cousin, told the police investigating the case that Waipuka said he had chosen to goad and assault Cottrell because he thought the victim looked gay. However, in court she denied making this statement, accusing the police of lying about it. “It's the most rubbish shit I've heard in my life,” she told the court, while also accusing the police of corruption. During the trial each of the defendants tried to shift the blame onto the other but the jury finally accepted that Robinson had not attacked Cottrell and had walked away during the deadly assault. PAUL HEARD, 2011 Reported. On Rugby World Cup opening night on 7 September Urge owner Paul Heard was on the door when three drunk men pulled up in a jeep outside the bar and proceeded to keep on drinking. He ignored them until they got out of the car and started urinating up against the store front. He approached them and said if they wanted to take a leak, perhaps they could go and use the empty car park around the corner. When he turned his back, one of them cracked him across the back of the head, knocking him to the ground where he blacked out for a few seconds. While others came out to help, he took photos of the culprits, their car and their licence plate with his camera phone before he was struck across the head again by these thugs. Four policemen turned up, at which point the men backed off about a hundred metres and feigned innocence. No arrests were made, despite a request from the victim for this to happen. As he spoke to police the trio stood at a safe distance yelling out “fucking faggots” and “it’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”. Police have since investigated their response and action disciplinary has been taken. HAYDEN MILES, 2011 Gavin John Gosnell, 27, has been charged with the murder of gay Christchurch teenager Hayden Miles. He is awaiting trial. The 15-year-old victim went missing in August 2011. *A court suppression order remains in place regarding the circumstances of how Hayden died and what happened afterwards.   TREVOR KAUKAU, 2011 Trevor Kaukau, then 40, suffered brain damage after being punched to the ground outside a nightclub on Auckland’s K’ Rd in June 2011, by 20-year-old Sitaleki Langi Koloamatangi. Koloamatangi 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. The defence contended he punched Kaukau after he 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.” DAVE AND KYM ZELTON, 2011 Christchurch couple Dave and Kym Zelton said they closed their bakery because they simply couldn't go on any longer in the face of homophobic abuse and threats from a local family. They say their windows were smashed, their car and home were attacked, and abuse such as "all faggots need to be burnt and destroyed" was hurled through their shop door. BRENDAN GOUDSWAARD, 2011 Drag queen and activist Brendan Goudswaard was 26 when he was attacked in Wellington’s Vivian St at the end of February. A group of three men rammed his head into a wall as he tried to pass them on the footpath while walking home from work about 2AM. He said details of the attack were fuzzy but one of the men asked him how his night was going before bashing him. He suffered a black eye, a swollen face and now has a permanent scar on his forehead. SIMON STOCKLEY, 2011 Longtime poster designer for K' Rd bear bar Urge Simon Stockley had knee reconstruction surgery after being pushed out onto the road in front of Scorpio Club early on a Sunday morning in January 2011. The designer was not really sure what happened, as the attack occurred very quickly and he simply recalls waking up surrounded by people. DENIS PHILLIPS, 2010 Police jailer Denis Phillips, 59, was stabbed to death by 17-year-old Willie Ahsee in his Papakura home in July 2010. The younger man was cleared of a murder charge and instead found guilty of manslaughter. On the stand the teenager claimed Phillips, an openly-gay man who was stated by both the Crown and defence to have had a 'liking' for young men, had touched his thigh trying to get to his "nut" that night, before touching his ear. He said both times he batted Phillips' hand away. In giving evidence he said he was extremely drunk and had blank spots from the night, and only grabbed the knife after being somehow knocked over in the kitchen as Phillips shouted at him. Ahsee said he just wanted to get out of the house and go home, but a fight ensued and he stabbed Phillips a total of four times in the upper body, with the initial stab wound Phillips' suffered in the kitchen proving fatal and becoming the key issue for the jury. Ahsee was jailed for five years. PROVOCATION DEFENCE WIPED DIKSY JONES, 2009 Lower Hutt trans woman Diksy Jones died from blunt force trauma to the head after being bashed by David Shaun Galloway (then 18) and Phillip Christopher Sanders (then 42) in her Upper Hutt home in April 2009. In sentencing, Justice Robert Dobson said the younger man’s part in the "brutal and tragic" attack constituted a hate crime, as Galloway had stated ‘a transvestite did not deserve to live’ and that he ‘believed in Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve’. NAMES WITHHELD, 2009 A late-night attack against a gay couple in Palmerston North in October 2009 left one with serious and on-going head injuries. The couple in their mid-20s, who were visiting from Auckland, were attacked by a small group of men in the centre of the city, leaving them bruised and bleeding. Police investigated, however, with no camera footage of the incident and few witnesses, there was little chance of a breakthrough in the case. PAUL IRONS, 2008 Paul Irons, 36, was found in the early hours of 9 October 2008, bloodied and partly naked with serious head injuries in Featherston's Triangle Park. He had been at a party with the three men earlier that evening. Irons died when his life support was turned off five days later. Shaun Sullivan, 26, was jailed for life with a minimum non-parole period of twelve years for the murder. Rangitera Walker, 16, was given a minimum non-parole period of eleven years for murder. Andrew Dean Kupa-Caudwell, 18, who'd received the lesser verdict of manslaughter, was jailed for a minimum non-parole period of three years. Emails received by after Irons' death suggested he was gay and that the attack had been a hate crime. Irons' friends have since confirmed that he was a gay man with a male partner. However, Irons' father publicly has denied his son was homosexual, saying "I can assure you he was not gay, he had a lot of girlfriends but he did have gay friends." RONALD BROWN, 2007 The final case of a gay killing where the provocation defence was used. Elderly gay Onehunga man Ronald Brown was beaten to death and left with a broken banjo neck stuffed in his mouth. Hungarian tourist Ferdinand Ambach was sentenced to twelve years with a minimum non-parole period of eight years for manslaughter. Brown, 69, was found dying in the stairwell of his blood-splattered and trashed Onehunga home after neighbours called police to a disturbance shortly after midnight on December 8th, 2007. Ambach, still upstairs, had ripped bathroom fittings from the wall, thrown furniture through windows and barricaded the stairs with household items. Ambach, 30 at the time of the killing, avoided a murder conviction in his July jury trial when he claimed memory loss and exploited 'gay panic' defence, more formally known as the partial defence of provocation, by claiming that Brown's alleged sexual advance to him was enough to understandably trigger what his own lawyer termed a "monstrous" rage. STANLEY WAIPOURI, 2006 Waipouri died in December 2006 after a brutal attack in his Palmerston North apartment during which he sustained multiple internal and external injuries including having the tip of his penis sliced off. The injuries, particularly to his head and neck, were so severe that a pathologist was unable to pinpoint the exact cause of death. Ashley Arnopp and Andre Gilling were each sentenced to 15 years for murder. ROBERT HUNT, 2004 Hunt, a ‘quiet stamp collector', aged 55 was stabbed 42 times in his home by 18 year-old Dick Faisauvale, who held him by the throat during the stabbing. The defence was that Hunt made an unwanted sexual advance toward Faisauvale, who allegedly believed Hunt was going to rape and physically attack him, ultimately provoking Faisauvale to kill. However it emerged that Faisauvale and Hunt had previously had a casual sexual relationship and Faisauvale also acknowledged during the trial that he had been paid to have sex with other men. Faisauvale was convicted of murder and jailed for life with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years. ROBERT GREEN, 2004 Craig Ross, 31, had worked on Robert Green's farm on and off since he was 16. On the night of 12 August 2004, Ross came up behind Green and shot him in the back of the head with a sawn-off shotgun. On trial for the murder of Green, Ross's defence was provocation on the basis that Green had pressured Ross over time to have a homosexual relationship with him. According to Ross, on the afternoon of 12 August, Green got into bed with Ross naked from the waist down and sexually assaulted him. Ross's provocation defence was not accepted and he was found guilty of murder. BARRY HART, 2003 Barry Hart, 56, was killed by his nephew by marriage, Amsheen Ali, 16, during a barbecue at Hart's house where they had been smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol. At the time of the killing, only Hart and Ali remained at the house. Hart began to hug him, rubbing his hands over Ali's body, and attempted to kiss him on the neck. Ali alleged that he was scared that Hart would rape him and pushed him away on a number of occasions. Ali then grabbed a knife and stabbed Hart at least five times in the back, chest and neck. The defence of provocation was accepted even though there was no evidence at all that Hart was a ‘dominant homosexual lacking in self-control, violent and predatory'. Ali was sentenced to just three years in prison. DAVID MCNEE, 2003 Celebrity interior decorator David McNee was bashed to death by Philip Layton Edwards in 2003 after McNee hired Edwards for solicitation. Edwards admitted to losing count of how many times he punched McNee in the face; however post-mortem examinations revealed McNee suffered anywhere between 30 to 50 blows to the head. McNee lay dying in his own blood and vomit for up to an hour, while Edwards showered, stole money, liquor, clothes and a car from McNee's residence. Although Edwards was a known male prostitute, his defence was that he was not gay, however did agree to perform an erotic act on a ‘look but don't touch' basis. Edwards assaulted McNee when he allegedly touched his anus. Despite the evidence of the degree of brutality and lack of remorse Edwards portrayed - for instance, blood splatters on the walls, floor and ceiling, and reports of Edwards boasting about the killing while joyriding in the victim's car - the defence attorney managed to seduce the jury on the grounds of provocation. Edwards was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to nine years in prison, a sentence upheld by the Court of Appeal. JOHN SORRENSON, 2002 John Sorrenson, 57, picked up Hitchhiker Jason Fergusson, 20, in June 2002. Sorrenson invited Fergusson back to his home where he stayed the weekend. During this time, Sorrenson admitted to Fergusson of having feelings for him. While Fergusson was using the shower, Sorrenson allegedly came in uninvited and fondled his genitals. Fergusson then pushed him away and hit him three times. Sorrenson ran out of the bathroom, pursued by Fergusson who smashed a vase and a plate over his head, threw other ornaments at him and hit him on the head several time with a steel poker. When Sorrenson got to his feet, Fergusson, allegedly in fear of being indecently touched again, grabbed a knife and stabbed Sorrenson in the back three times. He then buried him in a shallow grave in a nearby forest. Fergusson told police that he had previously been assaulted by a man, thus making him particularly sensitive to Sorrenson's approach. The defence of the case was that ‘the horror of unwanted homosexual advances festered away in his mind, becoming part of his psyche'. The defence also argued that ‘the average New Zealander would have acted the same way if provoked to the same extent'. Fergusson's defence of provocation, based on Sorrenson's actions and a claimed previous similar sexual assault against him, was not however, accepted by the jury who returned with a guilty of murder verdict after deliberating for three hours. Fergusson is still behind bars but in June 2009 it was announced that an appeal against his conviction is to be launched. JASON JOHNSON, 2001 Reported, 10 July 2001: Jason Johnson was killed at Whakamaru, Waikato. Ratima Osborne Jnr, and his father Ratima Osborne Snr, were arrested for the killing. The son was subsequently found guilty of murder and sentenced to a non-parole imprisonment of ten years. The police stated that it was a gay hate crime. JEFF PINFOLD AND PETER KITCHEN, 2001 Reported, 19 April 2001: Jeff Pinfold and Peter Kitchen were assaulted after leaving a Napier Bar by Dallas Peneha, Daniel Beams, and Jack Blance. Beams' girlfriend at the time of the attack witnessed it, and stated that one of them said, "Let's fuck these gay guys up." Kitchen later died of his injuries in Hawkes Bay Hospital on 23 April 2001 MALCOLM VAUGHN staff - 2nd April 2013    

Credit: staff

First published: Tuesday, 2nd April 2013 - 9:08am

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