December 15, 2006

Community work for injuring with industrial cleaner

A Christchurch chef displayed “bully boy tactics of the worst kind” by burning a kitchen hand’s foot by leaving industrial cleaner in his shoe while was at work, a judge told him today.

But Reece Murray Godinet, 23, has escaped a jail sentence through the forgiveness of the man he injured.

“There are some remarkable people in this world and more often than not they have the label ‘victim‘,” Christchurch District Court Judge Michael Crosbie said at the sentencing today.

Godinet told the police he used the cleaner because he had problems with the kitchen hand’s work habits and wanted to scare him into resigning.

But defence counsel Nick Rout said it was more like a practical joke gone horribly wrong than a serious attempt to cause harm.

When the kitchen hand had cycled home after work, his foot was in agony and he needed hospitalisation for several days, and weeks of skin grafts for the chemical burns.

Since pleading guilty to charge of injuring with reckless disregard, Godinet has attended an anger management course, gone to a restorative justice conference and has paid reparation of $975 to the victim.

Judge Crosbie said Godinet’s actions had been immature and arrogant. Yet he had been forgiven by the victim.

“This process has demonstrated the man he is and the boy you are in a man’s body. You have a significant amount of growing up to do,” he said.

He sentenced Godinet to 250 hours of community work and warned him that if he failed to do it he would be resentenced to imprisonment. He also ordered him to pay an extra $2000 to the victim for emotional harm.