Aziz Al-Sa'afin attacker Joden Martin sentenced to 11 months' home detention

Aziz Al-Sa'afin.
Aziz Al-Sa'afin. Photo credit: The AM Show

The man who committed an unprovoked homophobic attack on The AM Show journalist Aziz Al-Sa'afin has been sentenced to 11 months' home detention. 

Joden Martin pleaded guilty in July to two charges of injuring with intent and assault with intent to injure after attacking Al-Sa'afin in February.

Al-Sa'afin and a friend were walking down Auckand's Karangahape Rd when the attack took place.  

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".

In handing out the sentence on Tuesday, Judge Robert Ronayne said Jodin caused "both physical and emotional damage" to his victims. 

"Your attack was motivated by your hostility towards homosexuality," he said.

"Toxic hatred cannot be dressed up as some religious views. You need to understand that tolerance has to go both ways."

Martin's lawyer said that her client's actions were the result of him grieving for his father, who had died just before the incident.

His lawyer said they were the "stupid actions of a grieving young man".

"This young man accepts grief does not mean you can go around assaulting people," she said.

"He needs to deal with the anger but also with the grief of losing his father."

Writing on his Instagram, Al-Sa'afin said the sentence was a "win for anyone who has ever found themselves on the receiving end of discrimination (or in my case a fist or two)".

"If you're faced with prejudice, answer with love. If you're dealt aggression, reciprocate with kindness. And if you're ever wronged, respond with forgiveness."

He also encouraged anyone else facing discrimination to "speak up". 

Following the assault, Al-Sa'afin wrote an opinion piece condemning the act.

"YOU are what we need less of in the world. I worry for the next 'f*g' you come across on your next night out, which will happen," Al-Sa'afin wrote.

Martin was originally due to be sentenced in July, but was remanded on bail and the sentencing postponed.

At an earlier hearing, Judge Robert Ronayne called the attack, which Martin's lawyer said her client carried out due to his "religious views", "vicious [and] unprovoked".

In May, Al-Sa'afin told The AM Show he would never forget the moment he found out the man had 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."

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