Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Zealand: Local Assailants in Rode-Rage Incident Attack Indian Tourist with Fists, Hammer

Earlier today (March 13), the Greymouth District Court heard testimony as to how New Zealanders Hayden Christopher Greene, 38, and Michael Kevin Isabeth, 29, both of Karoro, admitted to attacking Indian tourist Chehan Lasika Senasekera with a carpenter's hammer on December 13. Greene pleaded guilty to common assault and Isabeth to assault with intent to injure.

Those attending the proceedings heard how the two men approached the victim's rental van from behind while both vehicles were driving in the direction of Hokitika toward Greymouth.

Seemingly infuriated by the manner in which the van was driving, Greene and Isbeth aggressively followed the Indian tourist down a dead-end road, at which point Greene alighted from the vehicle, ran up to the van, pulled the door open and began punching Senasekera about the head and shoulders.

At that Senasekera asked "What have I done wrong?" to which Greene responded: "You nearly killed us." As Greene continued his attack, Isabeth struck the victim once with the hammer, leaving puncture wounds on his right hand, left forearm and right inner thigh with one strike.

Greene then delivered more punches, wrenched the keys from the ignition and threw them up the road before driving off.

COMMENT:  It is unfortunate that there are some residents in New Zealand who are hardly examples of Kiwi friendliness towards tourists, yet it is comforting to know that Judge Jane Farish runs a fair and equitable courtroom and is sensitive to the importance of foreign tourism on New Zealand's economy.

Having visited New Zealand on two lengthy occasions, I would like to emphasize that the conduct of Greene and Isbeth's is a rarity, as most New Zelanders are warm, outgoing and friendly.

It would be unfortunate for our readers to construe that Mr. Senasekera's experience is typical of Kiwi hospitality.  It definitely is not.

Both assailants have been placed on bail and will be sentenced on May 9, at which point we will update our readers re: their sentences. Jail time is expected for one or both defendants, given the vicious nature of their collective behavior.