Woman attacked witness’ mother

Debra Pine (59), who appeared in court by video link, was jailed for nearly three years over two...
Debra Pine (59), who appeared in court by video link, was jailed for nearly three years over two violent incidents. PHOTO: ROB KIDD
A Dunedin woman beat up the mother of a witness who was due to give evidence at her trial, pulling out clumps of her hair, a court has heard.

The trouble began for Debra Ann Pine (59) in June last year when she visited a Caversham flat.

The victim, who had been staying at the one-bedroom unit with the elderly occupant, had been drinking for six hours and by 5pm was ‘‘extremely intoxicated’’.

She first clashed with Pine, accusing her of flirting with her partner.

When the victim gently pushed another person towards the door, the defendant snapped.

Pine threw the 43-year-old woman to the ground and repeatedly punched her in the face, stomach and ribs until she was unconscious.

The victim was left with severe bruising to her head and Pine was charged with injuring with intent to injure.

She pleaded not guilty and a jury trial was scheduled for May 27 this year.

Pine, though, had no intention of waiting until the hearing before finding out what one witness was going to say.

Two months before the trial, the defendant and her partner drove to a South Dunedin home looking for the person.

The pair ‘‘marched’’ up to the house and demanded to know where the witness — the daughter of the resident — was.

‘‘As they did so, they both yelled that the defendant was going to do 10 years in prison because of her,’’ a police summary said.

The woman tried to calm the couple and asked them to leave several times.

But tensions continued to escalate.

When Pine’s partner uttered ‘‘go hun’’, it prompted another explosion of violence.

The defendant immediately advanced on the victim and punched her three times in the face.

The blows knocked the woman to the pavement and Pine grabbed her by the hair, dragging her along.

When people intervened, Pine and her partner fled.

The victim, the court heard, lost clumps of hair and suffered prolonged headaches in the attack’s aftermath.

Counsel Alex Bligh told the Dunedin District Court the actions were, ironically, driven by Pine’s fear of being locked up over the first incident.

The defendant put her woes down to her child being removed from her care by Oranga Tamariki some years ago.

Judge David Robinson noted Pine had rejected the opportunity to apologise to those she hurt, and engaged in ‘‘victim blaming’’ when interviewed.

While the defendant had stayed out of trouble between 1998 and 2011, she had repeatedly chalked up convictions for violence since then.

‘‘The risk to the community is increasing,’’ said the judge.

Pine was convicted of injuring with intent to injure, assault and attempting to pervert the course of justice, and jailed for two years nine months.

Her partner will be sentenced next month as a party to the assault.





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