Witness 'saw man run down'

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 12:29 27/06/2012

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A prosecution witness has given vivid testimony about seeing a prominent investment banker "run down" another man in an alleged Auckland road-rage incident.

Forsyth Barr investment banker Guy Hallwright is on trial at Auckland District Court charged with causing grievous bodily harm to Song-jin Kim in September 2010 and an alternative charge of recklessly causing harm. He has pleaded not guilty.

Kim, driving a Mercedes Benz, was behind Hallwright, in a soft-top Saab convertible, when Kim tooted Hallwright to move on a green light. Evidence has been given that Hallwright swore and then gave the fingers as they moved off. Kim has denied tooting his horn.

Hallwright, who was with his 18-year-old daughter Isabel, then stopped on Mt Eden Road.

A witness in a car, Kitt McGregor-MacDonald, told the court today that he saw Kim suddenly stop in the inside lane. He described it as a screeching, panicked stop.

Kim then "stormed out of the car....I saw him marching back, obviously there was a problem."

McGregor-MacDonald said Kim looked to be an angry man.

He told the court Kim was in front of Hallwright's car, over the right headlight.

"Then I saw the other car lurch into this guy and run him down," the witness said.

"[The] guy got his legs completely crunched by another guy's car."

He said Kim was thrown backward and under the car which was moving slowly.

"(Kim) was under the car...I saw the car creeping past until the driver decided to take-off."

McGregor-MacDonald said he believed Hallwright's car was going to stop: "You would think any decent person would stop."

Hallwright's car continued moving slowly and McGregor-MacDonald was able to take down its licence plate number on his cell phone.

"I saw the car creeping past until the driver decided to take off."

There was no doubt Kim had been hurt, he said.

"He was in agony... everybody was well aware there was a major injury."

If Hallwright is found guilty of the first charge, intent to cause grievous bodily harm, he faces a maximum imprisonment of 10 years. The alternative lesser charge, causing injury with reckless disregard, carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail.

The court had earlier heard that Hallwright took his daughter to a recording studio and called 111 and told police he would return later.

Hallwright's lawyer Paul Davison QC challenged the witness as to how much he actually saw.

"I saw a man getting run down ... the car leapt at him.... I saw him hit by the car, and I saw him get dragged under the car," McGregor-MacDonald said.

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His evidence about Kim's demeanour in getting out of the Mercedes varies with that of the victim himself.

Yesterday Kim told the court he had varicose veins, could only move slowly, and had stumbled in front of the Saab.

One of Kim's legs was broken as the car went over and as he was treated and was convulsing when ambulance staff accidentally broke the other leg.

The trial is into its third day of a scheduled five day sitting before Judge Raoul Neave and a jury.

- Auckland Now

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