Well-known Nelsonian Lewis Stanton has been sentenced to a three-month stint in prison after punching a Nelson man in what was meant to be a peaceful protest last year.
Stanton was found guilty last month of one charge of common assault against protest organiser Ru Dawson and was sentenced to three months imprisonment by Judge Ian Mill yesterday.
The punch was captured on film by a Nelson Live reporter when a peaceful anti-Lewis protest along Trafalgar St turned violent on November 20 last year.
Stanton’s lawyers argued he was acting in self defence however, Judge Mill ruled that Stanton was the aggressor and the threat to personal safety was not enough to warrant his reaction.
“I find that Mr Stanton was not acting in self-defence, as seen in the footage. Mr Stanton was the aggressor.
“The situation could have been diffused in a different way,” he said.
Judge Mill was considering a suspended sentence in the May court hearing after Stanton refused community service and could not pay a fine, but settled on three months imprisonment for Stanton.
However, Judge Mill says he believes Stanton will return to Trafalgar following his imprisonment, as he has done with his two previous assault-related imprisonments.
“I have sent him to prison before and it was an action of futility. Whatever I do, I don’t believe it will stop him doing what he wants to do.”
Judge Mill also revoked around $4,000 of Stanton’s fines as a result of the sentence.