A Napier man fractured his partner's skull when he allegedly
hit her with a spade and left her lying in a pool of blood
after an argument, a court has heard.
A jury trial for Andrew Tauira Whatarau began today at the
Napier District Court in which he is defending a charge of
causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
The incident occurred in the early hours of April 22 last
year at Whatarau's residence in Maraenui after the two had
attended a party at a friend's house.
The woman was taken to hospital with injuries that included a
six centimetre wound to the back of her head, a fractured
skull and bleeding around the brain, crown prosecutor Nicola
Graham told the court.
After returning from the party to find herself locked out of
the house, she proceeded to smash several windows before
Whatarau allegedly hit her with the garden spade.
"He ran outside and hit her in the head with it," Mrs Graham
said. "Afterwards he then went back inside . . . he left her,
literally, lying in a pool of blood." She said his response
was "definitely" not reasonable given the circumstances.
Whatarau's defence lawyer Scott Jefferson asked the woman if
she had picked on Whatarau at the party earlier that night.
He also asked her if she had arrived home in a "jealous
rage", and suggested she had tried to run at him with a
Mr Jefferson said a neighbour's statement described Whatarau
as retreating away from her. Her account of the night was
"completely" at odds with the neighbour's, he said.
The trial is expected to continue tomorrow.
- By Corey Charlton of the Hawke's Bay Today