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Man pleads guilty for assaulting teenager because of his sexuality

Marco Angelich became angry when he found out a family friend was in a same-sex relationship

2018-09-25

A man has pleaded guilty for assaulting a teenager because of his sexuality.

Marco Angelich, 24, became “upset” and “mad” when he found out a family friend was gay and when the teenage victim returned to his home in Auckland, Angelich ran up to him carrying a knife.

The victim – who came out to his family in 2017 and revealed he was in a relationship with an older man - was pushed against the garage door and Angelich went inside and stabbed a picture frame.

After kicking and punching the victim, Angelich held a knife against his wrist and told him to go outside and get inside the car, according to court documents obtained by Stuff.co.nz.

Justice Christine Gordon said: “You continued to punch the victim while walking to the vehicle.

“The victim felt he had no choice but to get into your vehicle.”

Another person was reportedly waiting in the car and during the drive to the North Shore, Angelich continued to punch the victim with boxing gloves.

When they arrived at a house, another unknown man was there, and they put cannabis in a bong and forced the victim to smoke it.

Gordon continued: “You told him that you did not approve of his relationship and that you were upset and mad that he was gay.

“You and your accomplices hassled the victim for being gay and for being in a gay relationship.”

Nearly a week later, Angelich targeted the victim again and entered his room and attacked him again before stealing his TV.

He returned to the room and was carrying a long, black firearm and pointed it at the victim.

“You pointed the firearm at the victim and demanded that he leave the address. Instead, he ran from the address to his own vehicle,” Gordon added.

“As he sat in his vehicle, he saw you walk out of the address carrying his Xbox.

“He again recognised you as you removed the face mask you had been wearing.”

In June 2017, Angelich was stopped by police and originally denied the aggravated burglary but admitted to confronting the victim earlier that month.

Gordon continued: “He [the victim] is continuously worried about his safety.

“Your actions also caused divisions in his family and it has taken time for him to be able to communicate with some of those family members again.

"The use of disguises and the bringing of a weapon to the scene illustrate that you planned this offending.

"The offending was plainly at least partially motivated by your hostility towards the victim for being gay.

"You normalised the use of violence in the context of what you considered to be 'brotherly discipline'. This is concerning.

"While you accept reading from the Bible to the victim, you denied that this was because the victim is gay.

"You did acknowledge, however, that seeing videos of the victim with his male partner angered you."

Angelich pleaded guilty and was sentenced on September 14 to two years and eight months in jail for aggravated burglary, assault with a weapon and common assault, by Justice Gordon at Auckland's High Court.