Kapiti’s Drinking Culture

judge ron young

Judge condemns ‘alcohol-fuelled violence’

By Alan Tristram

In the Wellington High Court, Judge  Ron Young has warned that, if problems with alcohol and violence on the Kapiti Coast are not addressed, more people will die.

He was sentencing a 25-year-old Tristim Eastham to five years and 11 months in jail for the manslaughter of 20-year-old Sean Strongman-Lintern who died in a car-park stabbing outside a bar on September 15 last year.

Justice Young noted it is the second time this year that the court has sentenced a young man for killing another young man on the Kapiti Coast. The judge was referring to the previous case of Izak Millanta, whose killer was jailed for six years for manslaughter

Widespread public alarm

The two murders raised widespread alarm on the Coast — and public reaction included a candle-lit vigil at Kapiti Lights. Police patrols were increased and police and public action led to the closing of a late-night bar at Kapiti Lights, where most of the violence erupted.

Justice Young said more deaths will occur if alcohol-fuelled violence is not stopped on the Kapiti Coast.

“Something is wrong in the community as small as this when this happens. Other serious assaults, maybe other killings, are going to occur if this carries on.”

The mother of Sean Strongman-Lintern, Nichole Craig, told the court that since her son’s death she has been unable to work in social services and teaching, and has rented the family home out to pay the mortgage.