The unprovoked attack by Sean Oratia Wilson on his girlfriend that left her with a brain bleed, broken eye socket, split lip and chipped teeth might have killed her if his mother had not arrived.
“I remember being fearful of losing my life and fearful of what would happen to my children,” the woman wrote in a victim impact statement.
At the 28-year-old’s request, her harrowing statement was read to the Hamilton District Court on Tuesday in her absence as Wilson was sentenced to three years and three months’ jail for the horrific beating.
The couple had been in a relationship for six months living in Whanganui but were staying with whānau in Matamata when the attack happened on February 19 last year.
The woman, whose name was redacted from an agreed police summary of facts of the incident, had two children who were staying with relatives in Gisborne at the time.
Wilson and the woman were alone at the house and had been arguing about the victim’s car about 8am when it progressed outside.
The summary stated that as the victim stood in a makeshift carport in the driveway Wilson “blindsided” her with a punch to the left side of the head.
“The force of the punch stunned the complainant and as she began to cover up her head with her arms the defendant repeated the act three to four times, striking her with forceful closed fist punches to the head and face.”
The force of the blows knocked the victim to the ground and Wilson began kicking and punching her in the head and face.
“As he did so he repeatedly told her that this was what she wanted, that she had asked for it.”
The single mum managed to crawl behind a motorbike to shield herself.
She dropped her phone, which Wilson began smashing on the concrete and while he was distracted the woman, bleeding profusely from cuts to her head and face, made a run for it.
But Wilson was blocking her path to freedom and she found herself in the backyard, being yelled at by him to get back inside the house.
Wilson picked up a spade, threatening his girlfriend with it before chasing her around the side of the house.
The woman tripped over and Wilson began punching and kicking her in the head again, repeating that she had “asked for it”.
He then grabbed her by the ankle and dragged her inside, shutting the door and standing over the woman.
“I feel like I’m really going to kill you,” Wilson yelled at her.
“Now locked in the house with her attacker the complainant believed she was going to die,” the summary stated.
She crawled to a couch, crying and begging for Wilson to let her go.
Wilson refused and shut all the doors and windows before standing guard over his victim.
At that moment his mother arrived and the victim tried to escape through the front door.
But as she did Wilson grabbed her skirt and pulled her back inside, closing the door.
He forced her to the rear of the house where the pair were spoken to by Wilson’s mother. The woman then fled and made it to her car.
She suffered a brain bleed, fractured left eye socket and haemorrhage, a cut above her eye that required four stitches, a split lip, chipped teeth and multiple bruises to her face, head, arms and torso.
In her victim impact statement, the woman said the attack traumatised her so severely she packed up her life and moved to another region, seeking a protection order.
She said Wilson “gaslit and manipulated” her throughout their relationship, isolated her and made her question everything she stood for.
She did not believe he had any genuine remorse and was afraid Wilson would not leave her alone in future.
Wilson was convicted on five charges, including wounding with intent to injure and threatening to kill.
Judge Brett Crowley said Wilson was on bail for traffic offences in December 2021, including stealing a car while drunk, when he committed the unprovoked, “sustained violent attack” against his partner.
Judge Crowley said aggravating factors included the threats to kill, the use of a weapon to threaten, the sustained attacks to the head, the vulnerability of the victim and the breach of trust.
“No woman should be treated in that way, ever.”
The judge said it was “fortuitous” for the victim that Wilson’s mother intervened when she did, “otherwise I hesitate to think what you would have done to her when you dragged her back inside the house”.
A cultural report indicated Wilson had a “hard road” in life and was barely given a chance to succeed, Judge Crowley said.
Wilson’s guilty plea and remorse were also taken into account.
The judge sentenced him to three years and three months’ imprisonment and ordered $200 reparation for the phone.
Wilson’s $3000 in fines were wiped, with the judge saying any money paid back should go to the victims.
Natalie Akoorie is the Open Justice deputy editor, based in Waikato and covering crime and justice nationally. Natalie first joined the Herald in 2011 and has been a journalist in New Zealand and overseas for 28 years, recently covering health, social issues, local government, and the regions.
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