PHOTO: Aaron Drever, released on parole in October, expressed remorse for his past actions. FILE
A convicted inmate who assaulted former real estate agent Aaron Drever in a prison kitchen, inflicting severe facial injuries, has been found guilty of the assault. The assailant, 36-year-old Wayne Lisipa, used a metal hook to slash Drever’s face during an altercation at the Northland Region Corrections Facility on November 16, 2022. Lisipa, facing potential additional jail time of up to 14 years, will be sentenced next week.
Following the incident, Corrections acknowledged that Lisipa had been involved in another violent episode two weeks earlier and should not have been assigned to the prison kitchen during the subsequent attack. The department initiated an internal review to rectify the failure and prevent future occurrences.
Aaron Drever, a once-prominent Auckland agent, serving a two-year sentence for fraudulent activities totaling $600,000, was preparing food in the prison kitchen at the time of the assault. Despite being stripped of his real estate license for repeated misconduct, Drever faced the brutal attack at approximately 10:30 am.
Drever, who had earned millions through home sales, wrote to his legal team describing the assault: “I was attacked in the kitchen by an inmate who used a steel grate hook to slash my face open across my nose, exposing and damaging my nasal cavity.” He suffered permanent damage, as confirmed by medical assessments.
Wayne Lisipa was charged by the police with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and was convicted after a trial in Kaikohe District Court in November. His sentencing is scheduled for the upcoming week, with the charge carrying a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail.
Corrections informed the Herald that Lisipa faced disciplinary action, including directed segregation and a subsequent transfer to another prison. Despite being returned to the Northland Region Corrections Facility in June 2023 to fulfill court obligations related to the assault, Lisipa remains in custody pending court proceedings.
Aaron Drever, released on parole in October, expressed remorse for his past actions, acknowledging that his offenses were driven by greed and self-entitlement. Drever’s advisor criticized Corrections for failing to ensure his safety while serving his sentence.
The prison director, David Pattinson, admitted a prior failure in addressing Lisipa’s earlier assault internally and attributed the subsequent error to miscommunication by a staff member. He emphasized the need for a comprehensive review to prevent similar incidents in the future.