Artist denies sexually assaulting daughter at Dunedin party

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A gang member turned artist beat his daughter and broke her face in two places, a court has heard.

Warren Pahia Smith

Warren Pahia Smith
Photo: Delivered / Coastal News

Warren Pahia Smith (57) – known as Bino Smith – gave up his craft to pursue his art and has since worked on the sets of Hollywood blockbusters, Under the spell of the Ring trilogy and King Kongaccording to his website.

His appearance in Dunedin District Court this week marked a “considerable fall from favour,” said Crown Prosecutor Craig Power.

Smith, who attended the hearing via video link from Auckland, was sentenced to seven months house arrest after being found guilty of inflicting injury with intent to injure in a trial only early this year.

He came south for an engagement party in July 2020 and Judge David Robinson said there was a “tense atmosphere” due to his estrangement from other family members.

There was an initial altercation in which he knocked over his daughter, but that was not the subject of charges, the court heard.

After an ensuing scuffle, the victim entered the venue to retrieve her bag, leading to a confrontation with Smith at a pool table.

She denounced him for his upbringing and her father responded by punching her in the left side of the face.

The victim told the court that the resulting fractures required surgery and a metal implant in her face, which in turn resulted in her dentures having to be re-fitted.

She struggled to eat after being on a soft food diet for a month, but she said the physical problems paled in comparison to the psychological trauma.

The victim called Smith’s actions “despondent” and said the incident had caused her to become distant and resentful of society as a whole.

“As much as you’ve broken me physically, mentally and emotionally, I’m building myself stronger to be the woman I am,” she said.

“I wish I could say, ‘I forgive you,’ but for now I can’t. Maybe in time, in myself, I’ll find the strength to do that – not for you, but for me.”

Judge Robinson said he was surprised that Smith continued to claim innocence in the face of a “very clear” prosecution case.

The artist wrote a letter to the court which, according to the judge, showed remorse.

“I really love my daughter…and that will never change, regardless of the outcome of this conviction,” it reads.

Judge Robinson said Smith turned his back on gang life and his art career was commendable. His last conviction for violence was 20 years ago. A report put him at a low risk of recidivism.

In addition to the house arrest, the judge ordered 100 hours of community work and ordered Smith to pay his daughter $2,000.

* This story originally appeared in the Otago Daily Times.

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