Jail sentence sends strong message

A series of stills from the road rage video filmed by the victim
A series of stills from the road rage video filmed by the victim

THE Singleton man responsible for punching the window of a Cockburn grandmother’s car on the Kwinana Freeway in October was sentenced to 10 months prison last week.

Anwar Hautapu was a passenger in a black Holden Astra in Success that, after entering the freeway, pulled up beside a Ford Fiesta being driven by a 56-year-old woman.

The 29-year-old, who was on a suspended imprisonment order at the time, leaned out of the window, yelled abuse at the woman and threw something at her car.

He was filmed by the victim leaving his car and approaching her vehicle, shouting abuse and attempting to open her driver’s door. He then punched the driver’s window, shattering the glass and striking the victim on the right shoulder, causing minor scratches.

Glass fell throughout the victim’s car. He then walked back to the Holden, which was driven off.

The incident was sparked after the two cars merged on the freeway on-ramp.

In April, Hautapu pleaded guilty to charges of assault occasioning bodily harm and criminal damage. He was sentenced in Fremantle Magistrates Court last week to 10 months in prison for the attack and ordered to pay $700 to repair the car window. He will be eligible for parole in five months.

The victim, Lynn, said it was a relief to have the matter put to bed.

“I’m glad it’s done. The last few months have been hard,” she said.

“He did what he did in front of everyone.

“Even after he saw me filming he kept going. I couldn’t have predicted what he would do. Social norms didn’t count.”

In court, it was revealed Hautapu had spent the day celebrating his birthday with his partner and one-month-old child.

His lawyer said it was not clear “why he took his anger to such an extent”, but said he had been worried about his family’s safety during the merging incident just moments before.

Hautapu’s lawyer also revealed his client had been subject to threats on social media after his attack on the grandmother.

“The best place (for Hautapu) to make amends is in the community,” he said.

But the Magistrate said the public expected Mr Hautapu to be dealt a term of imprisonment.

“People in the community don’t tolerate this behaviour, they’re repulsed by it,” she said.

“It needs to be shown that this type of conduct won’t be tolerated.”