Man who attacked Newshub journalist fails to show up for sentencing

A man convicted of a homophobic attack on Newshub and The AM Show reporter Aziz Al-Sa'afin has failed to show up for sentencing.

Joden Martin, 20, attacked Al-Sa'afin and a friend in February on Auckland's Karangahape Rd during Pride Month celebrations.

A group of men punched Al-Sa'afin in the face and kicked his friend to the ground while calling them "f*gs" and "homos". The culprits ran away when other people came to the victims' help, and police launched an investigation into the unprovoked assault, releasing CCTV images of the suspects.

Martin was arrested in March, and in May pleaded guilty to injuring with intent to injure and assault with intent to injure.

But when he was called on Friday morning for sentencing, he was nowhere to be seen.

The case is expected to be called again later on Friday, in the hope Martin shows up voluntarily. 

Al-Sa'afin told The AM Show in May he would never forget the moment he found out the man pleaded guilty.

"For the last couple of months I felt like I was chained, like this massive thing has just kept me. I've been walking around with this ball and chain just everywhere.

"Yesterday in a single moment those chains were just broken."

Al-Sa'afin said he felt pity for Martin.

"My message to this guy is I really feel sorry for you. From my understanding this was motivated by his religious views. I've grown up in a massively religious household and the only thing that I've always been taught is love."



Contact Newshub with your story tips: