The killing of Benton Parata in jail was likely carried out by three men jealous of his “mana” in prison, a judge says.
Akuhatua Tihi, 23, was jailed for life with a non-parole term of 13 years for Parata’s murder, while Levi Hohepa Reuben, 21, was jailed for seven years eight months, and Steven Betham, 38, for six years, both for manslaughter.
They were all found guilty by a jury at a two-week trial before Justice Gerald Nation in the High Court at Christchurch in June.
Tihi seems very sorry:
Barking like dogs, Mongrel Mob-style, the three began their jail terms.
His original offending was in 2010 when he got six years jail for stomping on a hairdresser, giving him serious brain injuries. As he was 17 at the time, he was not eligible for a first strike.
He also assaulted someone in custody in 2011. And it seems he even started assaulting people when he was five years old as authorities have a record of him attacking a sibling.
The parents will no doubt be responsible. His father has a history of violence also.
But the question for the community is whether Tihi will ever be safe to have out of prison. I doubt it.