Claim and counterclaim in assault case

Differing accounts of an alleged assault were presented in the Queenstown District Court yesterday during a judge-alone trial before Judge Michael Turner, adjourned last night.

Ross Malcolm McGregor (28), mechanic, of Albert Town, has denied assaulting Amanda Barrow with intent to injure her and injuring her with intent at Wanaka on September 20.

Ms Barrow, McGregor's former fiancee, alleged she tried to wake McGregor, who had fallen asleep on the couch, simultaneously bending to pick up a bottle of beer which had tipped over.

''The next minute I was just lying on the floor, on my back with him above me.''

Ms Barrow said McGregor punched her about three times with a closed fist to the head, before ''stomping'' on her head with a socked foot and dragging her by her hair into their bedroom.

There she alleged he tipped a bottle of water over her face and rubbed his hand over it to remove blood, before using a towel to dry her.

Defence counsel Mike Newell alleged it was Miss Barrow who assaulted McGregor and she contacted police as a ''pre-emptive strike''.

Mr Newell said there was a history of jealousy between the two and referred to a heated text message exchange between them that day, in which they accused each other of having interests in other people.

He submitted McGregor fell asleep on the couch and woke to find Ms Barrow on top of him with both hands around his neck ''squeezing''.

He tried to fend her off. They both ended up on the floor, with her on top of him.

McGregor managed to get one hand on her shoulder to keep her at arm's length.

''At this point, with your other arm you reached behind, grabbed him by the scrotum and squeezed and pulled [causing injuries].''

He said McGregor restrained her against the couch until she calmed down.

McGregor washed the blood from her face to show it was not her blood, but his, Mr Newell said..

Ms Barrow largely denied Mr Newell's version of events.

There was an apparent history of violence between the two in which she had, on at least three occasions, scratched his face, Mr Newell said.

Incidents with previous partners resulted in her being convicted on four assault-related charges, including assault with intent to injure, against two former boyfriends in 2010, both of which arose from anger and jealousy issues.

Mr Newell submitted Ms Barrow called police as a ''pre-emptive strike'' because she was concerned, given her previous convictions, McGregor would make a complaint to police.

''You were angry and you were jealous and when you saw him asleep on the couch, the bottle of beer knocked over beside him, you couldn't help yourself.

''He reacted, from being asleep to finding your fingers digging into his neck.''

He said text messages sent to McGregor following the incident - including that she loved him and would miss him ''forever'' - along with attempts to see him were not in line with someone who had been subjected to a violent assault.