A man who pleaded guilty of committing an unprovoked attack on New Zealand Journalist and LGBTI Ambassador Aziz Al-Sa’afin has been sentenced to 11 months home detention in an Auckland court this morning.
Joden Martin pleaded guilty in July to two charges of injuring with intent and assault with intent to injure after attacking Al-Sa’afin in February.
The attack on Al Sa’afin and his friend occurred on Karangahape Road only metres from many gay bars and in the middle of the city’s annual Pride festival.
Speaking on The AM Show, just days after the attack, Al Sa’afin revealed that two men walked up to him and his friend, initially in a friendly manner, they then began hurling abuse and physically assaulting them.
Martin’s lawyer said in court on Tuesday that Martin’s actions were the result of him grieving for his father, who had died just before the incident.
His lawyer said they were the “stupid actions of a grieving young man”.
“This young man accepts grief does not mean you can go around assaulting people,” she said.
“He needs to deal with the anger but also with the grief of losing his father.”
Judge Robert Ronayne said the court had been told homophobic slurs were used and that Martin held certain religious reviews.
“If that is so, you need to keep those views to yourself,” he said.
“Toxic hatred cannot be dressed up as a religious view and then peddled out as some sort of freedom of religion or freedom of speech.
“You need to understand that tolerance cuts both ways.”
The attack occurred while he was on remand for another assault.
The sentencing had been postponed from July but Martin was remanded on bail until today’s home detention sentence was announced.