Tawhiao Pohioa’s vicious assault stopped only when daughter walked in

Tawhiao Pohioa halted the vicious beating of his partner only when his daughter entered the room, a court has heard.

After ushering the girl into the lounge, he returned to continue the punishment.

The 40-year-old, who appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday, is no stranger to violence.

Judge Michael Turner noted Pohioa had previously been convicted of manslaughter and in 2018 was sentenced for earlier domestic violence against his partner.

While the attack on the mother of his child in South Auckland was the most serious of the charges, it was dwarfed in number by two-and-a-half months of dishonesty.

While living in Auckland, Pohioa committed four petrol drive-offs in June.

On June 28, after spending the night together, the couple argued about groceries.

Pohioa told her: “I’ll show you a real man”, then the violence began.

He grabbed his victim by the hair and punched her numerous times in the face before throwing her on to the bed and inflicting several blows to her legs.

There was a brief reprieve when their daughter entered the room but Pohioa led her away so the assault could continue, the court heard.

He grabbed the woman by the throat and punched her a few more times, then pushed her on to the bed, where he left her. She then ran to a relative’s address.

Pohioa later appeared in court. However, after his release on bail his offending only increased.

Pohioa ripped off South Auckland petrol stations as frequently as four times a week and the crime spree continued as he travelled south.

The defendant, the court heard, stole a scooter in Raglan, and reverted to fuel thefts in Taupō, Blenheim and Dunedin.

By August, Pohioa was living in Dunedin and had diversified somewhat, stealing food and drinks from supermarkets before he was eventually caught.

Counsel Jim Takas argued his client should be sentenced to home detention after his Mornington home had been assessed as suitable.

Judge Turner was not convinced.

Pohioa was assessed as presenting a high risk of reoffending and doing harm to others.

There was reference in a report to trauma in his childhood and the judge stressed that was what the defendant was repeating upon his daughter.

He said he saw little by way of remorse and Pohioa exhibited little insight into the effects of his crimes.

“I get a sense you feel somewhat entitled to property. You take things when you want them,” Judge Turner said.

Pohioa was convicted of assault with intent to injure, 18 thefts and five counts of shoplifting, and jailed for 23 months.

A protection order was granted in favour of his partner and he was also banned from driving for six months.


If you’re in danger now:

• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you.
• Run outside and head for where there are other people.
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you.
• Take the children with you.
• Don’t stop to get anything else.
• If you are being abused, remember it’s not your fault. Violence is never okay

Where to go for help or more information:

• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day – 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• Women’s Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 – 0800 refuge or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and middle eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584
• It’s Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz

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