Isaac BJ Rangitonga
Taranaki Daily News story 16th June 2005
A young thug who yelled "West Side, West Side" as he repeatedly kicked an unconscious team-mate in the head was jailed for 18 months yesterday. Isaac B.J. Rangitonga stood emotionless in the New Plymouth District Court dock, gold chains draped around his neck and a baseball cap clasped behind his back as details of the vicious assault were recounted. The 17-year-old Rangitonga had been with a group of associates in Okato on February 20 when words were exchanged with his victim, Elliot Tweedie.
Before Tweedie could react, he was set upon, beaten unconscious and robbed of his shoes by Rangitonga's 14-year-old friend. Not satisfied with that, Rangitonga then targeted Mr Tweedie's bleeding head, kicking him up to 10 times, yelling "West Side, West Side". When his friends tried to stop him, Rangitonga threatened them before dealing one final kick to his former basketball team-mate's head.
The victim's mother, Jan Tweedie, told the Taranaki Daily News shortly after the attack that she had feared the worst for her son. "They kicked him in the head over and over. After the beating, two of his friends carried him home. They thought he was dead." Mr Tweedie spent the next day in hospital, slowly recovering from the attack. Yesterday, the court heard how his life had changed dramatically. He was no longer the outgoing, free spirit who lived for his sport.
Instead, he suffers nightmares. It took him three months to sleep in a room by himself, and it was five weeks before he bounced another ball on court. "You have taken away his confidence, his trust in people," Judge Bidois told Rangitonga. "This was gratuitous street violence, when the victim had already been knocked unconscious by your associate." Youth Aid officer Senior Constable Trevor Smith said the West Side was a loosely-styled gang with a large number of members
Date of Birth
Serious unprovoked assault on a New Plymouth man in February 2005
Three Strikes Status
Uru Taha "Westside gang"
Sentenced to just 18 months in June 2005
Due for statutory release March 2006
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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