A woman who was charged with killing a man after hitting him
in the head with a mallet has pleaded to a lesser charge.
Natalie Ann Reader - also known as Natalie van Breugel - had
been charged with the manslaughter of Lance Bain.
But this morning in the High Court at Auckland, the Crown
filed a new charge of wounding with intent to injure.
Van Breugel, 45, pleaded guilty to that charge and will be
sentenced in March next year.
Justice Sarah Katz ordered a pre-sentence report which will
look at the possibility of home detention and continued van
Breugel's bail over the Christmas period.
Manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of life in prison
while the charge van Breugel pleaded to carries a maximum
sentence of seven years.
Mr Bain, 43, died more than two weeks after the alleged
assault in the west Auckland suburb of Ranui on November 17.
The former high-flying businessman had spent five days in
He didn't immediately seek medical help and is understood to
have developed blood poisoning as a result of his injuries.
Police have previously said van Breugel hit him "numerous
times" with a mallet.
They had also previously charged van Breugel with threatening
to kill but that charge has since been dropped.
Police launched their investigation on behalf of the Coroner,
who requested they review the assault and "culmination of
events" that led to Mr Bain's death.
It is understood van Breugel and Mr Bain were in a