The Delegat family issued a statement of apology on behalf of Nikolas Delegat to NZ Herald. This is included in an ODT article Rich-lister’s son apologises
In a statement released to the Herald on behalf of the Delegat family, Nikolas Delegat apologised for the harm he has caused.
“Nikolas takes full responsibility for his actions that night,” it says.
“He attended a restorative justice conference where he expressed his remorse, and he again apologises to the police officer, university security guard and all others concerned.
“Nikolas was in the first two month of his university study away from home in Dunedin.
“He made a bad decision in the heat of the moment which caused considerable harm to those affected, which he regrets.
“He also apologises to his family and those around him for the trouble he has caused them.”
But Delegat’s lawyer Mark Ryan said that an appeal against the conviction and sentence (he sought a discharge without conviction).
However, Mr Ryan confirmed Delegat, his family and legal team had an “open mind” about the possibility of appealing the sentence and conviction.
“I can’t rule that out,” he told the Otago Daily Times after the hearing. “It’s something that we’ll consider. `I will discuss it with my client and his family and see which way we go on that.”
While the sentence seems relatively light given the seriousness of the assault…
Delegat was sentenced to 300 hours community work for the police assault, 100 hours for assaulting a campus watch officer, 60 hours for wilful damage, and 60 hours for resisting arrest. He has also been ordered to pay $5000 emotional harm reparation to the police officer he punched.
…the impact of the conviction could be significant:
His lawyer said a conviction would prevent Delegat from becoming a licensed authorised financial adviser under the Financial Markets Authority – a career which he was pursuing – and from entering the United States to compete in yacht races.
But Judge Kevin Phillips rejected that due to the impact the attack had on Constable Kane…
…resulting in 15 hours of hospital treatment, several weeks off-duty, months of recuperation and ongoing issues with headaches. Kane is still being helped by colleagues on her road back to work, 18 months after the attack.
`Tell me about his financial position,” Judge Phillips said to Mr Ryan.
“He’s able to pay a fine,” Mr Ryan responded.
“I’m not talking about a fine. I’m talking about emotional harm reparation. This has almost destroyed her life,” the judge said.
Alcohol was involved, as it is in a lot of violent crime. But alcohol can’t excuse this sort of violence:
Judge Phillips said Delegat punched Const Kane with enough force to “render that officer into a state of unconsciousness”.
“[He] then punched her another three or four times … all aimed at the head,” he said.
The other responding officer, Constable Keith Early, described the violence of the assault in evidential briefs referenced by Judge Phillips, saying Delegat was “absolutely smashing her”.
For someone to react that viciously, whether drunk or not, there must have been some underlying tendency towards reactive violence. Many people who get drunk don’t get violent, but far too many do.
Delegat may have “made a bad decision in the heat of the moment”, and that may impact on his life significantly from now on, but his actions have also had a serious immediate and ongoing impact on the person he attacked, and could have easily been much worse due to his recklessness and viciousness.
Unfortunately this sort of violence and damage to people’s health and well being is common. This is just one case that happens to have received a lot of publicity and criticism, but violent crime goes through the courts day after day, week after week, year after year.
Something must change. Many people’s behaviour must change, and many more people’s attitude to violence must change. Same with alcohol use and abuse.
We are all a part of a far too violent society. Grizzling about the occasional case that gets media attention isn’t enough.
Here on Your NZ we can all do something about it, by not reacting badly to issues or people we disagree with, by not proposing or portraying violence as if it is acceptable, by not posting personal attacks (which can amount to a form of online violence), and by confronting violent behaviour – not with violent responses, but reminding of the need for respect of others and the need for responsible behaviour.
And by setting an appropriate non-violent, non threatening example. We all have a part to play in this forum and in our society.
Nikolas Delegat and Constable Kane have had their lives significantly affected a few moments of deplorable violence. We can all learn from the resulting publicity.