The mother of two who orchestrated a vicious attack on a drug dealer believed to be selling poor quality methamphetamine has been jailed.
In February 2015 Codie-Lee Greer arranged for four associates to attack the dealer because he owed money and they believed he was selling dodgy drugs. The 25-year-old didn't take part in the assault, which involved the assailants arming themselves with weapons including a baseball bat and a hammer, but her role was to arrange a meeting with the dealer at a school at night by text message.
The victim suffered a broken fibula in his left leg, cuts to his head, lips, arms, a broken tooth and bruising to his body. "The victim was assaulted and he fell onto the ground where he was punched, kicked and struck with the baseball bat and hammer. "He had three crescent shaped wounds, clearly visible, with the approximate size and shape of a hammer head."
The victim attempted to escape his attackers and managed to get up and run but he was chased down by the group who again knocked him to the ground and continued the unprovoked assault.
Greer appeared before Judge Chris Sygrove in the New Plymouth District Court on Friday to be sentenced on a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. She arrived at court surrounded by family and friends and the group shared hugs and kisses and shed tears before she took her place in the dock. Greer pleaded guilty to the charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment, in January.
Crown prosecutor Jacob Bourke said the attack had involved extreme violence and Greer was well and truly part of the events that occurred. "Even though she wasn't involved in the physical attack she was the organiser," Bourke said. "She was the instigator and without her it wouldn't have taken place." Bourke sought a sentencing start point of nine to 11 years imprisonment and an end sentence of between five and six years.
Defence lawyer Julian Hannam said Greer had attended a 12 week rehabilitation programme to address her addiction which was the cause of the offending. "Without her addiction to methamphetamine she would, quite frankly not be in this court," Hannam said. Greer had expressed genuine remorse for her actions and had been willing to engage in a restorative justice conference with the victim where she would have apologised in person, Hannam said, but the victim had been unwilling. Hannam said Greer had been unaware that weapons were specifically going to be used and didn't appreciate that the group were going to use extreme violence. "The actual implementation of the violence was not something that she was involved in. "She had to have some knowledge that it was going to go this way but she couldn't have known what actually occurred at the scene." Greer had no previous convictions of any kind. "She has been ensnared in a tangled web of addiction with this extremely toxic drug."
Sygrove said the only possible sentence was one of imprisonment. "It's clear although you didn't inflict the actual injuries, your role was just as culpable. "You organised this whole event by the way of text message and encouraged them to attack the victim, without your involvement this offending would not have taken place." He noted Greer had taken steps to rid herself of her addiction to methamphetamine, which he described as a scourge on society. Sygrove adopted a starting point of eight years imprisonment but after taking into account all of the mitigating factors including Greer's remorse, early guilty plea and the steps she had taken to address her addiction he arrived at an end sentence of three and a half years.
Family members wept and called out to Greer to stay safe as she left court.
9 September 2016
Photo: ROBERT CHARLES/FAIRFAX NZ
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