Northland Region Corrections Facility

PHOTO: Northland Region Corrections Facility

A prison inmate, Wayne Lisipa, who assaulted former real estate agent Aaron Drever in a prison kitchen because he was denied chicken, has been sentenced to an additional four years and two months. The attack, which occurred on November 16, 2022, left Drever with severe facial injuries, resulting in permanent disfigurement.

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The incident took place at the Northland Region Corrections Facility, where Lisipa slashed open Drever’s face with a metal hook following a dispute. It was revealed that Lisipa had been involved in another violent incident two weeks prior, should not have been assigned to the kitchen that day, and prompted a review into internal failures by Corrections.

During sentencing at Kaikohe District Court, the defense claimed that Drever provoked the attack with a racial slur, but Judge Shortland dismissed this argument, describing the assault as unprovoked. Despite Drever’s controversial background, the judge emphasized the vulnerability of the victim and the seriousness of the injuries inflicted.

Real estate agent attacked in prison

Drever, once a high-profile Auckland agent, was serving a prison sentence for fraud at the time of the attack. Both Drever and Lisipa were working in the prison kitchen when Lisipa, requesting chicken, attacked Drever upon refusal. Drever sustained significant injuries, including a complex nasal laceration and nasal bone fracture.

CCTV footage showed Lisipa holding the metal hook before the assault, and while the extent of the injuries suggested its use, the judge could not definitively confirm it. Lisipa’s lawyer argued that the injuries resulted from a powerful punch and claimed his client was provoked by a racial slur, a claim Judge Shortland rejected due to lack of evidence.

Despite Lisipa expressing remorse and his lawyer seeking home detention, the judge deemed prison inevitable, urging Lisipa to rise above his circumstances. The court considered Lisipa’s troubled upbringing, marked by violence, poverty, alcohol, drugs, and abuse, as indicated in a cultural background report.

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Drever, after the assault, revealed the severity of his injuries and permanent disfigurement in a letter to his legal team. Corrections emphasized a zero-tolerance policy for violence, stating that those engaging in such behavior would be held accountable. Drever, released on parole, expressed remorse for his past actions, acknowledging a moral compass deviation that led to his current situation. Corrections asserted their commitment to providing a safe environment within the constraints of a high-risk prison setting.

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