Emotions ran high at the High Court in Wellington this morning as the man who fatally attacked a Kapiti teenager was sent to prison.
Manawanui Stewart, 25, admitted the manslaughter of 17-year-old Izak Millanta, who died after being chased, punched and stomped on outside Paraparaumu’s Retro Bar on August 11 last year.
Mr Millanta was taken to hospital but died a day later. An autopsy revealed the extent of his injuries, including blunt impact trauma to his head and torso, liver lacerations and internal bleeding.
Stewart, who told police he attacked Mr Millanta because he wanted to "teach him a lesson for being cheeky", was jailed for six years this morning.
Justice Ronald Young told Stewart his attack was brutal and that he was an alcohol-fuelled bully.
“It would have been clear to you beyond doubt that Mr Millanta would suffer serious injury as a result of your actions,” he says.
"This was a brutal attack on a young man for the most trivial of reasons but no more than an illustration of your conduct that evening and in the past.”
Stewart also attacked two other people the night he fatally attacked Mr Millanta, which Justice Young says could have resulted in two more deaths.
Before the sentence was read out, several of Mr Millanta’s supporters – including his mother – stormed out of the courtroom amid suggestions Stewart was remorseful.
Justice Young warned Mr Millanta’s supporters they would be thrown out if they couldn’t control their emotions.
This prompted Mr Millanta’s mother, Chris Wikaria, to stand up in the public gallery and storm out shouting “I can’t accept that”.
Others in the public gallery were heard shouting “it should be murder” and “kill yourself”.
Victim impact statements were also read to the court this morning.
Mr Millanta’s sister Jenna says a part of her and her family has died and waking up every day without her brother is a struggle.
Wiping back the tears while being comforted by her father and aunty, she recalled the moment she found out about the attack.
“Hearing the panic and fear in my dad’s voice and the events that followed that night will forever haunt me.
She says she hopes her brother’s death will haunt Stewart like it will for her family.
“To leave Izak in pain, alone, dying on the concrete knowing he was there. Only a lifetime in prison could close one page in our book of life,” she says.
Izak’s dad Steve Millanta fought back the tears as he read his statement to the packed courtroom.
“Izak was the youngest of all my boys. I stand here to express to you Manwanui the devastation and loss your actions has caused us. We will live with for rest of our lives.”
Ms Wikaria finished by telling the court that her days and nights are filled with tears.
“I go to bed crying and I wake up crying. Manawanui Stewart has dealt us the biggest hand ever. We have joined the exclusive club that no one wants to be apart of.”