Mele Ilafau Lenati Tupou sentenced to community work for assaulting Timaru woman

A Tongan woman who assaulted a woman outside a Timaru dairy, New Zealand has been ordered to carry 80 hours community work and pay the victim $600 for emotional harm.

Mele Ilafau Lenati Tupou, of Pareora, assaulted the woman over an unintentional queue-jump.

The victim, who was in line to pay for food at Night ’n Day in Timaru, called Tupou “rude” after she unintentionally cut in front of her. A further argument ensued as they left the shop and went to their vehicles, Stuff reported.

Tupou then threw an ice block into the victim’s windscreen, which started another verbal argument. Tupou then approached the victim aggressively and threw several punches at her head, hitting her in the left shoulder and right cheek.

The victim suffered a sore left shoulder and numerous bruises to her face and legs.

Tupou’s lawyer said the assault was out of character and that she had offered an apology to the victim.

Judge Dravitzki said he accepted that Tupou had not eaten during the day and tended to become irritable without food, but that her behaviour was “a lot more than irritable” and “an unacceptable and nasty assault on another person.”

Tupou was sentenced to 80 hours community work and ordered to pay the victim $600 for emotional harm.

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