Man who spat at and threatened to kill council dog control staffer pleads guilty

A man who tried to fetch a dog from the shelter pleaded guilty to assaulting an animal control worker and threatening him with death.  (File photo)

Robert Kitchin / stuff

A man who tried to fetch a dog from the shelter pleaded guilty to attacking an animal control worker and threatening to kill him. (File photo)

A man who threatened to kill a dog control worker and spat at him while trying to retrieve a dog from the shelter pleaded guilty in court.

Horizon Tamati-Smith, of Mataura, pleaded guilty to amending the general assault and death threat charges when he appeared before Judge Russell Walker in Gore District Court on Wednesday.

He was found guilty and detained on bail on August 18.

The court heard that Tamati-Smith went to the Napier City Council animal control center on May 2 to collect a bulldog for his mother.

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He got into a discussion with an employee about the fees to be paid, but there was disagreement about the amount.

Tamati-Smith told the employee that if he didn’t give him the dog right away, he would find out where he lived and kill him.

He reached through a Plexiglas window and pushed paperwork and scissors on the floor before banging on the window and kicking the office door.

Then he spat on the victim and the liquid landed on his face, head and jacket.

As he left the building, he picked up a large post and threw it away before driving away.

Judge Walker noted that this was not the first time Tamati-Smith had appeared in court, and he was in Gore District Court in November 2020 on similar charges.