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Spring Hill prison inmate punches fellow prisoner in face; then drops down to do sit-ups

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Terry-Tim Karekare Vercoe was serving a jail term at Spring Hill Prison when he punched another inmate in the face, rendering him unconscious on the concrete in an unprovoked attack. Photo / Michael Craig

A Spring Hill prison inmate punched a fellow inmate in the face for no reason – then immediately dropped to the ground to start doing sit-ups.

Terry-Tim Karekare Vercoe and the victim were in the same cell block and at 1.10pm on April 18 last year, both men were in the outdoor courtyard area of the prison at the same time.

Vercoe was chatting with other inmates when the victim walked past.

His vicious actions were caught on the prison’s CCTV.

Without any warning Vercoe punched his victim in the head, sending him backwards on to the concrete and rendering him unconscious.

Noticing he’d fallen flat on his back, and instead of offering first aid, Vercoe immediately began doing sit-ups, while sitting next to him on the ground.

Prison guards then came over and Vercoe – who was serving a sentence for an earlier aggravated robbery – got up and ran to the other end of the courtyard and started doing sit-ups again.

However, one officer noticed fresh blood and broken skin on Vercoe’s knuckles.

As a result of the attack, the victim was taken to Waikato Hospital with multiple injuries including a 1.5cm cut to his upper and lower lips, a 1cm cut to his head, and a sprained neck.

The victim also lost one of his front left teeth.

Vercoe, now a maximum security prisoner in Paremoremo prison, appeared for sentencing in the Hamilton District Court today on a charge of injuring with intent to injure, surrounded by several prison officers.

The charge carries a five-year maximum prison term.

Vercoe reappeared before Judge Noel Cocurullo who had given him a sentence indication on the charge in January.

That was if he pleaded guilty he would be jailed for 10 months – which would be added on to the prison term he was already serving.

Vercoe accepted that and was this afternoon jailed for a further 10 months.

No other discounts were sought on his sentence and he waived his right to a pre-sentence report.

Belinda Feek is an Open Justice reporter based in Waikato. She has worked at NZME for eight years and been a journalist for 19.



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