Father satisfied with jail sentence for man who attacked and robbed his teenage son

Bell Block Beach car park, end of Mangati Rd, where the boy was attacked last year.


Bell Block Beach car park, end of Mangati Rd, where the boy was attacked last year.

The father of a teenage boy left with a fractured skull and brain bleed after he was attacked and robbed of his backpack has left court satisfied at the jail sentence handed down to the man responsible.

Joshua Cornwall was jailed for three and a half years on a charge of aggravated robbery causing grievous bodily harm when he appeared in the New Plymouth District Court on Friday.

The father, who can not be named to protect the identity of his son, had feared the 29-year-old Cornwall would be sentenced to home detention for an attack he thought could have led to the death of his child.

His son was just 14 when he was attacked by Cornwall at Bell Block Beach on Easter Monday last year.

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He was with a friend around 5.20pm, when he said he saw a car approaching him.

“The car pulled up and [he] asked me for my bag. I said no, and he tried pulling my bag away,” the teenager said after recovering from the attack.

“Then he hit me over the head. I kind of only remember really waking up on the ground with people around me.”

Cornwall had in fact used a metal drink bottle to strike the boy before he took the bag then jumped into a vehicle that was driven away.

Inside the teen’s bag was $60 worth of bike tools, and $70 cash with which he planned to buy Spotify and Xbox cards.

The teenager was taken to Taranaki Base Hospital, where he received two CT scans.

It was established the teen had a fractured skull and small brain bleed on the left side of his head, and he was flown to Wellington Hospital where he was kept for several days.

At court on Friday, the boy’s father had a victim impact statement read in which he described the fear of potentially losing his son and the devastating and ongoing impact the attack still had.

“I don’t think you actually realise the damage you have done to my family,” he said.

“You have no regard for anyone else’s life. I hope karma bites you hard.”

The victim was forced to leave school and still suffered debilitating headaches.

Judge Gregory Hikaka said Cornwall’s own parents described him as a compulsive liar, while his sister thought methaphetamine had a significant impact in his offending.

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