Woman, 62, drives off with cheating boyfriend clinging to the bonnet, court hears

After finding her boyfriend cheating, a woman allegedly stole a wallet and drove off with the man clinging to her car’s bonnet.

The 62-year-old defendant — whose name is suppressed until the end of the trial — has pleaded not guilty to charges of theft and assault with a weapon.

Crown prosecutor Craig Power told the jury at the Dunedin District Court yesterday that the woman had been in a relationship with a Waihola man for a year when he abruptly called it off in on the morning of June 14.

He told the defendant not to come to his home as planned, that it was over and that he did not want to give her "false hope".

She went anyway.

Mr Power said the woman entered her boyfriend’s bedroom and, after speaking to him, wandered through the house looking for the other woman.

The third party, meanwhile, had allegedly shut herself in another room.

The defendant "quite clearly angry and upset", Mr Power said, went back to her boyfriend’s bedroom and threw the other woman’s property on the floor.

She allegedly demanded the man return some of her belongings and he duly loaded them into her car.

As she was leaving, however, the man confronted her, believing she had stolen something, the jury was told.

"How did she react?" Mr Power said.

"The Crown alleges ... she has driven the car at him, hit him and he’s ended up on the bonnet and she’s started driving down the gravel driveway."

It is alleged the man smashed the windscreen in a bid to stop the defendant.

Mr Power said she did stop the vehicle, in doing so throwing the complainant off the car and on to the ground, before she drove away.

A six-minute phone call she later made to police would form part of the Crown’s evidence, the court heard.

In it, the defendant said she had caught her boyfriend sleeping with someone else and, after an argument, he had jumped on the car and smashed the windscreen.

Counsel Anne Stevens QC said there was no assault — her client simply wanted to leave the address and her boyfriend jumped on to the bonnet to stop her doing so.

The man thought the defendant had his phone, Mrs Stevens said, and he was concerned its contents would expose him "as a cheat and a liar".

The defendant was accused of stealing the woman’s wallet, which had never been found following the incident.

While Mr Power accepted the case was circumstantial, he said theft was the only "reasonably inference".

Mrs Stevens rejected that.

"[The defendant] had no interest in [the woman’s] wallet, didn’t know what it looked like, didn’t touch it," she said.

The trial, before Judge Michael Crosbie and a jury of seven women and five men, is expected to last a couple of days.

rob.kidd@odt.co.nz

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