Pene Ruka Akarana
Court of Appeal decision here (PDF)
From a Christchurch Press story November 1997
A tutor who stabbed a man at his former girlfriend's house was jailed for six and-a-half years when he appeared in the High Court in Christchurch. Although Pene Ruka Akarana, 33, an art and crafts tutor had discovered artistic talent and turned his life around he still could not control his anger, Justice Hansen said yesterday. Akarana last month pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Justice Hansen said Akarana's "violent outburst'' which had resulted in the death of a "totally innocent man" was "at the middle to more serious end" of the scale for manslaughter.
Counsel for Akarana, Pip Hall, said Akarana accepted responsibility for the death of Ronald John Kohika at Hornby on May 17. His Honour said Akarana had seen a car at the house of a woman with whom he had broken up. He broke into the house and got angry when he found Kohika in a bedroom with the woman. Akarana knocked Kohika to the ground. Kohika had then received a deep chest wound from a screwdriver and died soon after. Justice Hansen agreed with Mr Hall that the details of who held the screwdriver and how it was used were unclear.
He told Akarana the circumstances of Kohika being in the bedroom with the woman ''had nothing to do with you''. He accepted the incident was unpremeditated and spontaneous. He accepted that Akarana had called for help for the victim and had shown remorse. However, he could not ignore Akarana's previous convictions for violent offences up to 1992. Akarana had ''turned his life around'' since about 1993, Justice Hansen said. He had been clear of alcohol and drugs and had discovered a substantial talent as a painter and sculptor. However, Akarana had made little or no progress in dealing with anger.
Date of Birth
1964 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Ronald John Kohika
Sentenced to 6 years 6 months in November 1997
Sentenced to preventive detention with a 5 year minimum non-parole period in December 2005
Unsuccessfully appealed this sentence in October 2006
Eligible for possible release December 2010
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Pene Ruka Akarana Appeal Notes
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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