Man pleads guilty to injuring wife, setting car on fire

A 46-year-old man pleaded guilty in the Wellington District Court today to injuring his wife and setting her car on fire.

Malofou Foleni, unemployed, from Wellington, pleaded guilty to injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, threatening to kill, arson, and threatening behaviour.

Foleni was set down for depositions hearing today, but decided to plead guilty to the charges.

A charge of attempted murder was withdrawn.

Crown prosecutor Ian Murray said on January 7 this year, Foleni was at home in Strathmore, with his wife and four children.

He had asked his wife into their bedroom for a drink, but she said she did not want one.

Foleni then started asking his wife about her previous relationships in Samoa, before they were a couple, Mr Murray said.

His wife had said she did not want to talk about them, because it would cause an argument and he was drunk.

Mr Murray said Foleni had then become angry and told his wife to sit down or he would shatter a bottle over her head.

He then threw a portable CD player at his wife and started smashing her "viciously" in the head with a beer bottle, he said.

She had pleaded with him to stop and eventually managed to escape with her children.

Mr Murray said after she left, Foleni smashed the windows of her car and set it on fire.

The wife was left with lacerations to her scalp and bruising to her arms. Judge Bruce Davidson further remanded Foleni in custody to appear for sentencing on August 8.

He ordered a pre-sentence report and an alcohol assessment.

An earlier charge of an assault on a child remained without a plea.

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