Monday, June 24, 2013

NEW ZEALAND - Vigilante's (Grayson Weaver & Katrina Maree Uncles) appeal rejected

Original Article



He administered a violent dose of vigilante justice to a Taranaki sex offender - including attempted strangulation with a noose - but a Feilding mechanic now says his own jail sentence is too harsh.

Grayson Weaver, 41, is serving a 4-year, 7-month prison term for the violent assault on [name withheld], 64, at his Feilding home on August 1, 2010.

[name withheld] was jailed for seven years for sexual offending against three young boys in Taranaki, between 1978 and 1982.

Weaver and his partner Katrina Maree Uncles, 42, of Paraparaumu, received identical sentences in May 2011 after both admitted one charge each of aggravated burglary and causing grievous bodily harm with intent to injure.

Last year Uncles successfully appealed her jail term and the Court of Appeal reduced it to three years and eight months, ruling that the sentencing judge failed to take her fragile mental state into account.

Uncles had formed the belief that [name withheld] had been having sexual contact with her son, although no formal allegations were made, and said a "spirit" told her to attack [name withheld].

Weaver argued he, too, should have received a discount for mental illness, although the Court of Appeal did not agree and in a judgment released this month upheld his sentence.

Weaver maintained he was not totally responsible for his actions because he was sexually offended against by a man when he was young and had suffered a mental disorder since.

The court also rejected a claim that the sentencing judge's calculations began from an excessive starting point and relied on "aggravating facts" that Weaver did not admit, including a victim statement from [name withheld] that overstated his injuries.

"The court accepted that [Uncles'] discount would create a disparity between her sentence and that of Weaver, but considered that to be justified because the evidence as to her serious mental disorder was clear and Weaver was not under any equivalent disability," the Court of Appeal judgment says.

On the night of the attack [name withheld] was woken by knocking at his door, and he recognised Uncles' voice.

[name withheld]'s door was kicked in as he tried to ring the police and Uncles came into his bedroom.

[name withheld] hit her with "a back hand" and Uncles yelled to Weaver for help.

Weaver punched [name withheld] in the face, and [name withheld] fell against a tallboy before hitting the ground.

He got to his hands and knees before Weaver landed four more blows to the head.

A noose was then placed around [name withheld]'s neck and tightened. [name withheld] pretended to pass out, but the strangulation continued.

As he was on the verge of losing consciousness for real, the noose was released and [name withheld] heard footsteps running away.

Police arrived to find him slumped on his bedroom floor, with the noose still dangling around his neck.

In his victim statement, [name withheld] said: "I received very bad injuries. I have had five or six metal plates inserted into my face and both sides under my eyes . . . My whole face was pushed in and I required major surgery to my scalp to have it repaired."

Weaver and Uncles were not related to [name withheld], whose sentence was reduced to take into account the severe beating. [name withheld]'s lawyer Tony Thackery said Weaver's explanation for the attack was he was "doing a public service".

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