A Taupo man who beat seven children with objects including a metal coal shovel and a vacuum cleaner has been jailed for four years and four months.
Stanley Rapana Rutene, 45, was sentenced in the Rotorua District Court today, after pleading guilty to 27 charges of attacking the children aged between three and 14, between 2005 and 2011.
Eighteen of the charges were for assaults with a weapon.
Judge Phillip Cooper outlined how the unemployed Rutene had taken to several of the children with various objects, including a metal coal shovel, a bamboo stick, vacuum cleaner and plastic pipes, a mop handle and a bike helmet. He hit one of the children so hard with this it broke.
Rutene had also lifted two of the youngsters up by their ears, dangling their feet above the ground and also banged children's heads together.
He'd also stomped on some of the children and kicked one in the head.
One child's eye had been so badly blackened, she'd been kept from school so her injuries wouldn't be spotted.
Judge Cooper said Rutene's attack on the youngest child was all the more callous and stupid because he'd hit him when he became annoyed the boy was crying.
A social worker overseeing some of the children told the court she had seen "the emotional impact of what he has done to these children".
Some of the children didn't want to talk about the attacks, others' development had been delayed or their behaviour was changeable.
Judge Cooper expressed concerns about what the future long-term effect on the children might be, but said, in sentencing, he took into account a letter Rutene had written apologising to the children.
If Rutene had not taken part in a restorative justice programme, which had been beneficial to the children the sentence also would have been longer, he said.