Mare Jones Wharepapa
The Dominion Post 27th June 2009
A one-eyed prisoner who ruptured a prison guard's eyeball has been given an indefinite prison sentence. Mare Jones Wharepapa, 39, was sentenced in the High Court at Wellington yesterday to preventive detention with a minimum non-parole period of six and-a-half years, for the July attack in Rimutaka Prison. He was given concurrent sentences for an August 2007 attack on a 19-year-old man, in which he punched his victim up to 20 times in the abdomen and sexually violated him. Wharepapa, who has only one eye, was on remand for that attack when he wounded prison guard Nicholas Koroniadis on July 4.
He had picked up a broom and pretended to sweep the floor as he approached the guard, before swinging at Mr Koroniadis' head, knocking him to the ground. The guard suffered a fractured eye socket and a broken jaw. To repair the damage, a titanium plate was screwed into his skull. He has lost the sight in his left eye the same eye Wharepapa has lost but has since been able to return to work. Detective Constable Christine Woodney said Mr Koroniadis was satisfied with the sentence of preventive detention.
"You can't really say that anything is enough, but it's good. In spite of what's happened to him and the pain he's endured, (Mr Koroniadis) is still a very positive man." The day before the attack, Mr Koroniadis had disciplined Wharepapa for verbal abuse. Corrections Association president Beven Hanlon said Wharepapa's attack was cowardly and vicious and there were "simple steps" that needed to be taken to protect prison officers. "This prisoner has a history of violence towards staff and made a number of threats against staff, but nothing happened.
"We should have things in place so that if that happens, it should be enough to isolate him, put him in segregation. "Defence counsel Liz Hall said Wharepapa had suffered a "terrible history" of physical, sexual and emotional abuse at the hands of his parents. The attack on his 19-year-old victim "really mirrored in many ways the violence meted out on [him] extensively during his formative years". Justice Alan MacKenzie noted Wharepapa's history of more than 200 convictions began at the age of 14 and included 19 violent offences.
He had a high risk of violent reoffending against anyone who stopped him getting what he wanted. "Your likely potential victims are anyone you perceive to have thwarted you in some way." Wharepapa's rehabilitation would rely on a "seismic shift" in his attitude. His bleak personal history was regrettably typical of career criminals, the judge said. Wharepapa had pleaded guilty to all the charges, which included wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, sexual violation and threatening to kill.
Date of Birth
Sentenced to preventive detention with a 6 year 6 month non parole period in June 2009
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Mare Jones Wharepapa Sentencing Notes
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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