Our regular readers may recall that in May we wrote about an elderly gentleman, Rakesh Kumar, who was subjected to a violent attack whilst hosting a dinner party at his home in Hastings, NZ.
At the time some NZ news outlets ignored the racist element of the attack on the man and the racist comments that were made by the drunken mob that invaded his house.
Well, one of the the men accused of the assault appeared in court yesterday and was convicted. During the trial more details of the events of that night were released and reported on by the local paper Hawke’s Bay Today:
Diplomats from Wellington’s India High Commission have expressed their disgust over a racial attack on a Hastings family where a 71-year-old Indian pensioner had his teeth knocked from his mouth.
The man’s family told Hawke’s Bay Today the consulate had become involved after the racial violence, which left the pensioner fearing another attack.
The consulate was talking to the family and were helping police.
Jason David Macklow, 21, was yesterday convicted for the attack, after he terrorised the man and his family in their Oliphant Rd home in May.
Macklow appeared in Hastings District Court yesterday and admitted punching the family patriarch, which opened up a cut under his eye, knocked his turban off and jolted his false teeth from his mouth.
Court records show the elderly man put his hands in a prayer position and begged Macklow not to beat him minutes before the assault, saying “please please, don’t … ”
The May 8 attack began at 8.45pm, when a heavily intoxicated Macklow , directed racial slurs at the family property on Oliphant Rd, calling them “black c**ts”, and “f**k off Indians“.
After an initial confrontation, where he was asked to leave, he returned to the property with 10-15 other men.
The group then attacked two vehicles parked in the driveway. They threw bottles, wooden stakes and bread crates at the house, vehicles and its occupants.
One resident, who fled towards the Campbell Street intersection, was followed by Macklow, who knocked him unconscious with a punch to the head. He continued to assault him while he was prone on the ground.
Police arrived to find him standing next to his victim, with his shirt in his hand, flailing his arms about and screaming.
He told police to “f**k off” before a number of constables restrained him.
In court yesterday he pleaded guilty to six charges, including riot, common assault, injuring with intent to injure, wilful damage, and resisting police.
Judge Phillip Cooper denied bail, citing the intensity of the attack, and the “racial overtones“.
“I’m not prepared to grant bail,” Judge Cooper said. “Prison seems inevitable.”
The pensioner was still suffering sight problems as a result of the beating.
Interestingly the article concluded with
It’s understood the India High Commission would be represented at Macklow’s sentencing on August 5.
One wonders whether the case would have been taken as seriously if they had not been present and exerting a firm but gentle pressure on the judicial system.
We think that there may be a lesson to be learned here. In future all foreign nationals who suffer racist attacks in New Zealand need to get the full support of their embassies or consulates to ensure that full and proper justice is served.
Our thoughts are with the people who were injured and we hope that they are allowed the quiet enjoyment of their home from now on.
For background reading about the problem with racism in New Zealand please take a look at:
Under reporting of crime to the media – it took a year before the news of the second robbery of Navtej Singh’s shop to got out.
Debbie Kohner Survey on racial abuse in Nelson and Tasman – more than 90% of all non-Europeans in Nelson and Tasman area have suffered racial abuse of one form or another.
Indians less safe in NZ than Kiwis in India – “More Indians are victims of crime in New Zealand than Kiwis are in India.”
Indian student attacked in New Plymouth no longer feels safe in NZ – after he was beaten and robbed.
Another Schoolkid, Mohammad Akif, Injured In Racist Attack. At Linwood College – 15 year old was beaten up by a group of unsupervised thugs in a corridor at Linwood College. He suffered a fractured cheekbone and various cuts and bruises in the attack.
4th serious attack on Auckland shop worker this year – all the victims were Asian people.
Indian man’s racist attack in Queenstown – Three Caucasian males hurled racial insults and beat up an Indian man. One offender is believed to have used a knuckleduster or knuckle rings. The victim suffered a cut, bleeding nose and chipped teeth.
Covert racial prejudice rife commonplace in NZ – “A MAORI Party boss says hidden racism is rife in New Zealand.
Co-vice president Heta Hingston said fellow Maori Party member Hone Harawira’s email rant against Pakeha was no worse than “covert” racial prejudice commonplace throughout the country.”
Indian students subject to racial abuse in New Zealand -Indian students studying in New Zealand’s southernmost city of Invercargill have been targets of racial abuse and called terrorists by local people.
Japanese students attack at Christchurch bus stop – two students attacked by a skin-head gang.
Everyday race hate rife in Christchurch – Thai girl is beaten up on a bus.