Clubber punched man so hard he ruptured eye, blinding him

Wednesday September 11, 2019 Written by Published in Crime

A father has been jailed after drunkenly punching a man three times outside a nightclub, leave his victim with such bad head and face injuries that he’s still in New Zealand for medical treatment and rehabilitation.


Twenty-six-year-old Tangimetua Tangimetua was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment on a charge of intent to injure.

He was convicted for an incident on May 16 this year outside a nightclub, shortly after it closed.

According to Crown Law, Tangimetua came out of the club and approached the victim Rhett Henry, who was talking to a woman. Henry had told him to go away.

Tangimetua is alleged to have punched Henry which caused the victim to get on his knees, Tangimetua then grabbed him by the hair and punched him twice more.

Crown Law’s Metua Okotai said the aggravating factors were the seriousness of the offence, resulting on the victim suffering a concussion and rapturing his right eye.

As a result, the Henry’s eye had to be removed and replaced with a prosthetic one.

Defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen said they did not argue the facts of the matter, but his client did not intend to really cause harm to the victim.

Hr told Judge Patrick Keane that some of the facts of the case were left out by the Crown –especially the statement of the defendant on May 16.

When he had asked a police officer whether the defendant had used anything other than his fist to damage the victim’s eyes, the officer’s response was “no”.

Rasmussen said the defendant worked in a steel factory in Australia where he would use his strength and energy and in this case he probably could not control the impact.

He said Tangimetua was a father to two children, ages 5 and 2, who are in Australia with his partner. This was his first offence.

Rasmussen further said that on the night of the incident, the defendant gave himself up to the police and cooperated with them.

Judge Keane revealed that in the defendant’s pre-sentence report, Tangimetua said he did approach the victim outside the club, he agrees he was told to go away but says that Henry grabbed him by the t-shirt and the defendant warned him.

He further read the report that said when Henry did not accept his warning, Tangimetua assaulted him.

“You did not know at the time until later how severely you injured him. You admitted to the offence.”

Judge Keane said the defendant has been without work and family support, has been remorseful and accepted the charge.


...Blinded victim owns up too

Tangimetua’s victim spoke to the sentencing judge by Skype – but he was answering his own charges.

Before Tangimetua’s sentencing, Rhett Henry was first sentenced to 12-months disqualification of driving.

Henry, who is still in New Zealand undergoing medical treatment and rehabilitation, was able to speak to his counsel, and Judge Keane by video-conferencing.

At about 11pm on May 31 last year, Henry was driving a motor vehicle opposite the Fishing Club in Tupapa when another vehicle came out of the club driveway and collided with Henry’s vehicle.

Defence counsel Norman George said Henry had to stop, he parked his flight, turned on his vehicles hazard lights to warn road users.

But police breathalysed him – and his breath alcohol reading was 510 mcg of alcohol per litre of breath.

Henry admitted to the facts and would have been sentenced on May 23 – but on May 16 he was assaulted outside the nightclub.

“He suffered a double misfortune, one at the Fishing Club and the other losing an eye at a club by a stranger,” George said.

Judge Keane said Henry had cooperated with police.

But because of his involvement in the accident, a breathalyser test was conducted.

He said Henry had been in New Zealand since the violence incident. He had a previous conviction but responsibly acted on the night of the traffic incident. 

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