An unemployed man living on social welfare benefit has been sentenced in a New Zealand court for damaging the paintwork on two cars belonging to his Indian neighbours.
The 34-year old New Plymouth man, Zane McGovern, will have to pay $3407 to his Indian neighbours for damaging their cars with a machete.
McGovern told the New Plymouth court that he was angry at his Indian immigrant neighbours because they were speaking “a foreign language”, the Taranaki Daily News reported.
The court also ordered McGovern to complete 225 hours of community work after he admitted the possession of an offensive weapon and two counts of wilful damage.
The incident happened on 17 August after McGovern had spent all day drinking. He began screaming at his Indian neighbours who had recently moved to New Zealand, to shut up.
As time passed, McGovern grew more agitated, grabbed a machete with a 400mm blade and scratched it across a concrete wall outside, causing sparks to fly, the newspaper reported.
The scared migrants hid themselves in their house and watched McGovern use the machete to damage their cars, causing $407 damage to one and managing to mark every panel of the other.
McGovern, who was looking after young children, told police he wanted to “get across the message in a way they would understand”.
Judge Allan Roberts was disgusted at the offer of $20 repayment per week through his lawyer, Susan Hurley.
It would be cold comfort for McGovern’s victims to hear that they would get back only $20 a week.
“It will take forever and a day,” the judge said.
The judge wondered how a beneficiary could afford to drink all day.
The judge also noted that McGovern had a history of intimidation, and warned him.
The court also ordered the machete to be destroyed.