FIJI NEWS
October 24, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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A Fiji-born McDonald's manager was yesterday sentenced to seven months' home detention by the Queenstown District Court in New Zealand  for a "football" kick to the head of a customer.

Rishi Kumar, 34, a duty manager at the fast food restaurant, was convicted of intent to injure causing injury to a customer on August 30 when he punched the victim, swung him around, threw him to the ground, stood on his torso and finally kicked him in the head.

Kumar then proceeded to "quite calmly" grab a bucket of water and return to the scene of the incident to clean up the victim's blood.

According to a Otago Daily Times report, Judge Kevin Phillips described Kumar's reaction to a trespassing customer as "highly unusual" and did not accept the defence statement that Kumar had been fearful or in "survival mode".

"I am trying to work out why you would snap at the victim the way you did," the judge said.

"You grabbed his right arm, swung him around and punched him in the face. ... you football kicked him in the head. None of that is impulsive is it?"

Defence counsel Phena Byrne said Kumar's reaction was "impulsive" and reactive to the intoxicated victim's racial abuse.

"It was a busy night, he was struggling to deal with a new staff member and there was equipment not working."

"He clearly accepts his behaviour was wholly unsuitable. The victim has been fair and accepts the part he had to play in it."

Kumar had been subject to racial abuse and assault earlier this year.

"This part of the premises has gained some sort of notoriety of late night drunken incidents."

Judge Phillips said he had taken in to account Kumar's character references as a "hard working family man" and his analysis showing a low level of reoffending.

Kumar has a wife who works at the restaurant, an eight-year-old daughter and no previous record of assault.

Judge Phillips sentenced Kumar to seven month's home detention and 200 hours' community work and ordered him to pay $200 reparation and $2000 in emotional harm reparation by December 20.

He said Kumar  would be investigated by Immigration and be asked to leave the country.

"It is entirely improbable that you will be able to continue living in New Zealand."

By Reginald Chandar

 

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