Kick-boxer jailed for ‘disturbing’, prolonged abuse of woman

Kick-boxer Hayden Todd, pictured in 2010.

Michael Beaumont/Stuff

Kick-boxer Hayden Todd, pictured in 2010.

A professional Muay Thai kick-boxer has been sentenced to three years behind bars for violent offending against a woman, who was left fearing for her life.

King in the Ring fighter Hayden “Tat North” Todd previously admitted charges of sexual violation, assault, strangulation, suffocation and injuring with intent.

He was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment by Judge Stephen Bonnar on Friday at the Auckland District Court.

Judge Bonnar said the facts of Todd’s offending were “disturbing, serious and disgraceful”.

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Todd hit the woman for 19 months on an almost monthly basis and held a T-shirt over her mouth, suffocating her, the court heard.

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Once, after an argument, Todd called her a “psycho”, Judge Bonnar said.

“You started choking [the woman], holding her throat and directing her around the room.”

On another occasion, Todd pushed the woman over, causing her to hit her head, before he dragged her into the bedroom.

Todd then sexually violated the woman while calling her names and threatening her.

Judge Stephen Bonnar sentenced Hayden Todd on Friday.

LAWRENCE SMITH/Stuff

Judge Stephen Bonnar sentenced Hayden Todd on Friday.

Judge Bonnar said Todd had a pattern of coercive, abusive and dominating behaviour.

Another time, the woman was knocked unconscious.

“You did not call an ambulance or take her to hospital. She woke up to you calling her names,” Judge Bonnar said.

On another occasion, Todd threatened the woman’s life.

Judge Bonnar said the woman’s victim impact statement was harrowing.

She had tried to take her own life. She still suffered from head, back and neck pain and had post-traumatic stress disorder, the court heard.

The court heard the woman struggled with her memory after being hit in the head.

E HERMANS/Stuff

The court heard the woman struggled with her memory after being hit in the head.

Judge Bonnar said some comments Todd made to a probation officer fell perilously close to victim blaming.

Prosecutor Elena Mok said the victim “feared for her life”.

“The impact has been enduring on her emotionally and psychologically.”

Todd had provided a written apology to his victim, but Mok said the fact he continued to claim the sexual offending was consensual showed his remorse was limited.

Defence lawyer John Munro said Todd was using alcohol and drugs when he offended, but was now three years sober.

A number of people wrote letters of support, saying Todd was a father figure to a number of young boys in West Auckland. He was also a parent to four children.

The kick-boxer had undertaken rehabilitative courses for violence, parenting and alcohol.

The defence lawyer asked Judge Bonnar for sentence discounts for Todd’s rehabilitative efforts and his parenting.

“He needs to be punished … but we can do that in a much better way,” Munro said.

Judge Bonnar acknowledged Todd’s rehabilitative steps, but said a prison term was necessary.

Where to get help

  • Rape Crisis 0800 88 33 00, click link for local helplines.
  • Victim Support 0800 842 846.
  • Safetalk text 4334, phone 0800 044 334 webchat safetotalk.nz or email support@safetotalk.nz.
  • The Harbour Online support and information for people affected by sexual abuse.
  • Women’s Refuge 0800 733 843
  • Shine Free call 0508 744 633 between 9am and 11pm (for men and women)
  • Male Survivors Aotearoa Helplines across NZ, click to find out more (males only).
  • If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call 111.
  • If you or someone you know is in a dangerous situation, click the Shielded icon at the bottom of this website to contact Women’s Refuge in a safe and anonymous way without it being traced in your browser history. If you’re in our app, visit the mobile website here to access Shielded.

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