Northland Man Who Maimed American Tourists in Paihia Given Six Months Home Detention

Jacob Ulgenes in happier times

Jacob Ulgenes in happier times

Outwardly, New Zealand may appear to be concerned about protecting its international reputation, but in reality it does little to deter the thugs who beat and rob overseas tourists.

The attack occurred in Paihia on January 3 this year and was widely reported in New Zealand and the victims’ home state of Montana, sparking fears for the Bay of Islands’ vital tourism industry.

Daniel Rama Tito, aged 22 from Waitangi savagely attacked  American tourists Jacob Ulgenes and Scott Kelleher on  3 January this year.

Scott Kelleher and Jacob Ulgenes, both 23 years old, were room mates at Montana Tech and had recently graduated with engineering degrees. They’d been in New Zealand for 48 hours when they were beaten up at a backpacker hostel in New Zealand’s ‘lawless north.’

Judge Greg Davis told Tito at the sentencing hearing

“his community, and his country, relied on tourism. His actions risked changing Paihia’s image from a clean, green destination to a place where “you’ll get your head bashed in by some Maori boys full of beer and looking for a fight”.

And then handed him sixth months home detention!

You may remember that Greg Davis was the judge who presided over another trial for a crime against tourists in Northland last year…

As Northland prepares to welcome an influx of visitors this summer, a judge has warned that criminals who target tourists and their belongings will face the full force of the law.

Judge Greg Davis sounded the warning in the Whangarei District Court this week while sentencing a young man who broke into four cars hired by overseas tourists that were parked at A.H. Reed Memorial Park in Whareora Rd, Whangarei, and stole high-value items… read on

6 months home detention is hardly “the full force of the law” and will do nothing to deter like minded thugs.

Back to the present day…

The court heard that Jacob Ulgenes, 22, and Scott Kelleher, 23, had been in New Zealand less than 48 hours when they crossed paths with Tito. They were socialising on Kings Rd about 3am when a car pulled up in front of their group with its lights on full beam.

An argument ensued between two women, one in the car and one on the footpath, and the two young Americans stepped forward to try to calm them.Tito got out of the car and punched the two backpackers with full force in the head. Mr Kelleher was knocked out, suffering bruising and a cut lip; Mr Ulgenes had to have his jaw rebuilt at Middlemore Hospital.

Tito was eventually identified thanks to newly installed CCTV cameras and pleaded guilty… source

You may also be interested in

American tourists hospitalised after vicious attack, Paihia in spotlight again (5 Jan 2015)

It’s summer, it’s open season on tourists in New Zealand again.

Two American vacationers have been brutally assaulted in New Zealand’s lawless north, one of many regions in the country where tourists regularly fall victim to crime.

It is not the first time tourists have become victims of crime in the popular seaside town.

On the same road as Saturday’s attack, three English tourists were robbed at knifepoint on April 3, 2013. The robbers took their possessions and their car.

This latest attack comes less than a week man held a machete to the neck of a female staff member at Paihia’s Four Square Supermarket at 10:25am on 29 December. The hostage situation ended without injury after police talked down her assailant… read on

You may also be interested in all articles tagged


tourist attacks

4 thoughts on “Northland Man Who Maimed American Tourists in Paihia Given Six Months Home Detention

  1. Sorry to say it, but, [most] kiwis hate Americans.
    As soon as Tito heard that accent [if he wasn’t already in the mood to bash someone] would’ve been the last straw.

  2. Thanks for sharing this E2NZ. The cavalier attitude with which the New Zealand (in)justice system treats victims is shocking. Kiwis often mock Australians for being the descendants of convicts. However, these Kiwis do not know that many of the early Australian convicts made their way to New Zealand. It is quite unsurprising that the descendants of these convicts now occupy posts in the criminal (in)justice system of New Zealand.

    Having spent three years in New Zealand, I would strongly recommend that foreign tourists consider other holiday destinations. They offer the pluses of New Zealand at a substantially lower cost and at much less personal risk to one’s safety.

  3. WTF!!!

    So it seems NZ cops now moonlight for NZ Tourism
    Teens arrested over alleged assault of tourist

    ‘Detective Sergeant David Parker says the victim was taken to the beach where he was assaulted and had his wallet and cell phone stolen.

    The victim suffered multiple cuts, grazes and bruises to his knees, hands, face and head.
    The three teenagers were arrested and charged with aggravated robbery. They are due to appear at Christchurch District Court later this week.

    “The victim has since left the area to take up employment elsewhere in the South Island,” Mr Parker said.

    “New Zealand is a safe place to visit and New Zealanders are well known as being friendly, approachable and happy to help anyone no matter where they are from.’

    Safe ? – yeah right mate – they certainly helped themselves to that guy’s wallet and cell phone.

Comments are closed.