Isaac Aydon has appealed his sentence of imprisonment. Photo / Shannon Pitman
A man who was sentenced to two years and seven months’ imprisonment for assaulting a family court lawyer in a courthouse elevator has appealed his sentence.
Isaac Aydon, 36, was jailed in May by Judge Brooke Gibson in the Whangārei District Court on one charge of injuring with intent to injure for the brutal attack on lawyer Brintyn Smith on March 9.
An appeal against his sentence was filed today in the Whangārei High Court by his new lawyer, Jarred Scot,t on the grounds the sentence was “manifestly unjust.”
Justice Timothy Brewer asked whether Aydon was seeking a term of home detention.
Scott said they believe a range of errors occurred in sentencing that should have resulted in a lower term of imprisonment and possibly qualified Aydon for a term of home detention.
“If it was so much lower we could get to home detention, and if his honour was able to indicate home detention was available, then yes we would seek home detention.
“I have not done the exact calculations, and part of it might depend on a psych evaluation,” Scott said.
Under the Sentencing Act 2002, offenders who have been sentenced to two years’ or less imprisonment are eligible for a possible term of home detention.
The assault on Smith took place about 9.50am when Aydon was observed hanging around the lift area, as five courts were about to get underway for the day.
Smith was on his way to a family court hearing in the elevator to the second floor and was about to exit when the doors opened.
At that moment, Aydon launched himself at Smith, punching him in the face and knocking him backwards into the lift in an unprovoked attack.
The doors closed behind him, blocking Smith from exiting the lift, and Aydon punched his victim in the face and head, rendering him semi-conscious.
Smith had to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured sternum, nose and thyroid, extensive bruising to the face and a concussion.
“It happened so fast … The force [of the blows] was unrelenting and I just wanted it to stop,” Smith said in a victim impact statement read to the Whangārei District Court.
“When the elevator doors opened, I could hear people screaming and shouting.
“I vividly recall the sheer panic of people around me and seeing and feeling a lot of blood … and the smell,” his statement said.
Smith has been unable to return to work and detailed the strain the assault had had on his legal practice and his children.
Sentencing Judge Brooke Gibson said the charge Aydon had been convicted on was “undercooked” and he was fortunate not to be sentenced on more serious charges.
The Crown did not oppose Aydon’s application for appeal and the hearing was scheduled for October.
Shannon Pitman is a Whangārei-based reporter for Open Justice covering courts in the Te Tai Tōkerau region. She is of Ngāpuhi/Ngātiwai/Ngāti Pūkenga descent and has worked freelance in digital media for the past five years. She joined NZME in 2023.