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Jail for young father charged with domestic violence related matters

Friday 11 August 2023 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Court, National


Jail for young father charged with domestic violence related matters

A father of two young children has been given six months jail on a raft of charges including threatening to kill.

Renee Junior Daniel appeared in the High Court at Avarua on Thursday for sentencing on two charges of threatening to kill, assault with intent to injure, assault on a female, contempt of court (x2), burglary, possession of cannabis, and possession of a utensil.

Crown lawyer Mariata Pittman said the charges stemmed from two incidents with the lead charges being the assault on a female, intent to injure and threatening to kill.

There was prolonged offending which involved two victims and occurred in a family setting.

There was a punch to the face and the use of a bush knife.

There was a breach of trust and victim vulnerability as the violence occurred while Daniel was on bail.

There were no mitigating factors.

There was a 33 per cent discount for a guilty plea with a starting point of two years and six months to three years jail.

The end sentence came to between 20 months and two years.

The court heard Daniel was still in a relationship with the victim and they had two children. The victim was in court with their youngest child.

Defence lawyer Norman George said the facts were not disputed.

His client had problems handling alcohol and accepting responsibility.

“He is just unsettled, he is growing up fast; he is hard working but likes to play hard.”

George said Daniel needed to accept responsibility and discipline.

“I asked him if he plays sport; I’m encouraging him to take up sport, he is hard working but lazy for sporting purposes.

“He is not reliable, he lies a lot, fails to turn up; he has a reliability problem.”

Judge Dame Judith Potter said that was evidenced by Daniel’s non-appearance in court on Wednesday.

George said his client needed three months to sit in a cell and evaluate his life, followed by community service and probation.

“It should give him an opportunity to tidy up his life.

“His partner is here with their baby and they have a one-year-old.

“He lives with his mum and dad, anything longer than three months would create a strain.”

Justice Potter said there was going to be a strain in the family anyway with his offending.

George said his client needed a chance to pause, he was not a professional criminal, but a casual offender, and had a chance to cut off his offending activities.

“He has to stop using drugs and alcohol. He has to find space and a new direction in life.”

Justice Potter, in reading the summary, said on February 22, 2022 about 11pm, Daniel drove to the Aitutaki Golf Club and broke in, taking alcohol and other items.  

On March 2, 2022 he attempted to sell some of the alcohol, and some of the stolen items were recovered during a search of his property.

In April and May, 2022, he was charged with breaching bail, then in July 2022, he was charged with assaulting a female after he punched his partner in the face.

She left the scene and contacted her brother.

When they returned to the address, the defendant appeared carrying two bush knives and threatened to kill them. Justice Potter said the offending was ongoing and involved two victims.

It occurred in a family setting, a punch to the face and threats to kill, plus the use of a weapon.

It was committed while he was on bail for cannabis offending.

Daniel had one previous conviction for wilful damage.

Judge Potter agreed a lengthy sentence would be damaging to the family.

“I have grappled with what is a raft of serious offending; I will impose a lenient sentence on you.”

Daniel was sentenced to six months jail followed by 12 months of probation, he was ordered not to purchase alcohol or go into licensed premises, and comply with any directions from probation in relation to alcohol and anger management.