By Jerram Watts and 3 News online staff
The Wellington man who attacked an American cyclist and blogger has been sentenced to 12 months intensive supervision and given 80 hours of community service.
Jamie Curtis Pene, 39, was also ordered to take psychological counselling for assaulting Russell Roca, a tourist and blogger from Oregon who was cycling around New Zealand with his partner Laura Crawford.
He appeared in Wellington District Court today for sentencing, having been convicted of common assault.
Judge Susan Thomas called Pene’s offending “reprehensible” but took into account his early guilty plea and apparent remorse.
Pene had also written a letter of apology to the police and Mr Roca.
Pene’s lawyer Amanda Courtney pointed to Pene’s own violent upbringing and said he realised he had anger issues, but knew his upbringing was not an excuse for his actions.
“Mr Pene makes no excuse whatsoever for his spur of the moment and unpremeditated actions,” Ms Courtney told the court.
She said Mr Pene wanted to ask his victim “humbly and from his heart for forgiveness”.
In January Pene tackled Mr Roca off his bike and punched him in the face after almost hitting the cyclists who were riding through Newtown.
Mr Roca suffered a sore shoulder and a bleeding lip but did not need medical attention.
Mr Roca has written extensively about the incident on his blog pathlesspedaled.com.
The couple approached the press to tell their story after it happened “to turn this unfortunate accident into a ‘teachable moment’” they wrote on the blog.
They also said the incident would not stop them cycling everywhere. They are now back in Southern California and still cycling.