Skinhead jailed for attacks on Asians

The Press, New Zealand/September 30, 2011

A white supremacist who attacked Asians as he walked along a Christchurch road has been jailed and told of the damage he has done to New Zealand.

The group Jared Levi Peck was with abused or attacked at least five Asians in Riccarton Rd on September 24 last year.

A Japanese man has now returned home and tells people they should be cautious about traveling to New Zealand.

A Chinese victim was attacked three-on-one and had his jaw broken.

"The actions of your group caused him to decide to leave New Zealand," Christchurch District Court Judge David Holderness told Peck at his sentencing at the Rangiora Courthouse.

Peck stood in the dock with a shaved head and a skull tattoo on his neck as Judge Holderness imposed a jail term of two years and four months.

His mother ran from the courtroom in tears when she realised he was not going to be allowed home detention. She wanted him at home to help her while she is treated for cancer.

A 17-year-old co-offender, Michael Holmes, has already been sentenced in Auckland, where he was given six months home detention.

Judge Holderness said he regarded Holmes' sentence as "extraordinarily lenient" and there was no proper basis to extend the same leniency to Peck, who was two years older, had a record of offending and had continued to offend.

Peck had admitted charges of intentionally injuring a Chinese man, stealing the bicycle the man abandoned after his jaw was broken, and burgling a house where the group chased a Japanese man and his partner into the front yard after kicking down a gate.

He also admitted a minor theft committed in Timaru while he was on bail.

Defence counsel Moana Cole said Peck was now 20 and had severed his association with skinheads, but Judge Holderness said that had been a condition of his bail.

The pre-sentence report said his racist views appeared to be unchanged and he had low motivation to address the causes of his offending. He had a poor record of complying with community-based sentences.

Judge Holderness said the victim-impact reports made sad reading.

"This racially motivated violence has an impact not only on the victims but also on our community and our standing as a country," he told Peck.

Peck was with a group of seven, and Crown prosecutor Kathy Basire said it appeared three of the group took part in the assaults. Peck participated in two of them. One other alleged co-offender remains in custody and plans to go to trial.

The group came upon three Asian teenagers walking on the other side of the road. Peck took no part as two of them were attacked, punched and kicked.

About 300 metres further along the road, a 56-year-old Chinese man on a bicycle was yelled at and then attacked. He was punched and kicked and his jaw was broken. He was bruised and had a cut above his eye that needed stitches.

He ran to his workplace to get help and Peck took his bicycle.

The group then saw a Japanese man and a woman standing outside a house. The couple saw Peck's group and went into their property and locked the gate.

Peck and two others kicked the gate open and yelled racial abuse before the man was punched in the face, money was demanded from him and he was pushed over. When the couple escaped into the house, it was kicked and thumped by the group.

Judge Holderness noted that Peck had already been jailed for two months for another assault committed four days after this incident.

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