Man, 36, gets 6 months for grievous harm


A man had been sent to prison for six months on the hope that he fully rehabilitates before returning back to his community in White River.

Nigel Haibagau, 36, pleaded guilty to the charge of grievous harm and was given his sentence on Friday, August 11.

The incident occurred on April 16 this year in which Mr Haibagau assaulted his partner.

In passing judgement, principal magistrate Elma Rizzu Hilly said:

“It is important Nigel is fully rehabilitated before he returns to his community.

“The sentence this court will impose must deter the defendant Nigel from committing further offence in the future and seriously think about how he handles his relationship with a person of the opposite gender to him.

“The lack of respect and trust between couples had caused a few perpetrators to take law into their own hands when faced with anger or resentment towards each other.

“This is not the solution, as there are other amicable ways to deal with disagreements. Being human understandably the first reaction when provoked is anger.

“However, it is unlawful when violence is the solution opted in taking out anger on a vulnerable person like the victim.

“Law protects victims of domestic violence that Nigel and the public must be aware of.

“Court will not tolerate any violence behavior from any person especially those who committing against assaults especially in a domestic relationship or generally.

“The sentence impose must prevent other likeminded persons to commit similar offence. Any thought of repeating the same mistake in the future must be avoided at all cost.”

Haibagau was in a relationship with the victim as boyfriend at the time of offending.

Between 7 and 8pm on April 16, 2023 the victim was at her home at White River when Haibagau’s aunty asked the victim to find Haibagau’s whereabouts.

Court heard that the victim searched for Haibagau twice, on the first occasion she did not find him and victim went past few boys who jokingly told her that Haibagau was with another female.

On the second attempt, she found Haibagau in front of a shop opposite the White River clinic.

She approached Haibagau and threw a stone at him that landed on his back and spoke to him angrily. What the boys had told her earlier had made her angry at Haibagau.

Haibagau told the victim to leave. She responded by telling Haibagau that she would burn his clothes. She had thought that by saying that, Haibagau would leave with her. They argued and the victim swore at Haibagau saying bad and disrespectful words towards Haibagau.

Court heard that upon hearing the disrespectful words Haibagau got angry and chased the victim down to the Tikopia settlement at White River.

The victim reached a market stall sat there and cried. When Haibagau arrived at where she was, he kicked the victim using his right leg. He then kicked her on the right side of her face and jaw. The victim cried and shouted which made Haibagau to leave.

Haibagau’s aunty arrived at the scene and assisted the victim back to their house, washed the blood running down from the victim’s mouth. She then wrapped a cloth around victim’s hands which was broken from Haibagau’s kick.

Nigel was reported, apprehended and arrested by police later that night.

Ms Martha Mutukera appears for the Crown and Ms Alice Silas appears for the Defence.

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