Scarred road rage victim feels 'like a freak'
A motorist savagely attacked in a terrifying road rage incident at his local supermarket feels like a freak when he looks at his scars in the mirror every day, a court heard today.
The victim had driven to the Woodville Shopping Centre in Werribee to buy dog food when he was almost killed.
Wahanui Ronaki, 26, and Carlos Roberts, 23, both of Hoppers Crossing, pleaded guilty in the County Court today to one count of intentionally causing serious injury.
Judge Margaret Rizkalla said Ronaki had been on a five-day "ice" bender when he went into a frenzy and attacked the motorist with a golf club and fishing knife.
Ronaki's mother, Puti, had been driving out of the shopping centre at about 4.45pm on May 1 last year with her terminally ill husband and their heavily pregnant daughter when she tried to leave through the entrance and not the exit lane.
As a result, she blocked the entrance for the victim on his way into the centre.
Both drivers refused to reverse and there was a stand-off for 20 minutes, during which time Mrs Ronaki got out of her car, leaned on the victim's car and abused him.
The pair traded insults as traffic built up behind the two cars before Mrs Ronaki's daughter, Kia, called her brother, Wahanui, who lived only a short distance away.
Wahanui soon arrived with Roberts, his sister's de facto partner.
Roberts smashed the motorist's front windscreen with a piece of wood while Wahanui used a golf club to smash the driver's side window.
The motorist panicked when the window shattered and tried to reverse but in his confusion the car lurched forward and hit Mrs Ronaki who was standing between the two cars.
She fell and hit her head on the asphalt.
Wahanui screamed out, "You ran over my mother", before stabbing the victim repeatedly in the face with the broken shaft of the golf club, almost severing his ears.
Wahanui then pulled out a fishing knife and repeatedly stabbed the victim in the forehead, narrowly missing his eye, and in the chest until the blade broke.
When witnesses yelled that they were going to call the police, Wahanui and Roberts ran off.
The victim was taken to hospital and placed in an induced coma after suffering a punctured lung, lacerations to the liver and cuts to his face, chest, arms and ears.
The court heard that the victim had lost all confidence, no longer worked or drove a car, and was always looking over his shoulder because he lived with fear and anxiety every day. He relived the attack whenever he looked into the mirror and saw his scars.
Judge Rizkalla said the scars made the victim feel "quite damaged and like a freak".
She said this was a vicious attack on a member of the public who had simply been going about his business attending the shopping centre.
Ronaki was jailed for five years with a non-parole period of three years while Roberts was jailed for 20 months with a non-parole period of eight months.