Face bite road rage appeal fails

CHARLES ANDERSON
Last updated 13:46 20/07/2012

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A man who bit a hunk of flesh from another's face in a road rage confrontation in Mission Bay has had an appeal against his conviction thrown out.

Kenneth Gordon McDonald was found guilty in 2010 of charges of assault with intent to injure and wounding with intent to injure after an apparent road rage incident got out of control.

McDonald was sentenced to two years and three months in prison.

The incident occurred on Boxing Day in 2008. McDonald was intoxicated and began to cross a street in Auckland's Mission Bay when a motorist sounded his horn loudly at him.

McDonald became abusive and during a struggle he was thrown into a bush on a traffic island. McDonald then got up and proceeded to beat the motorist's bonnet until it dented. The motorist restrained him in a bear hug but McDonald bit the man on his jaw line, taking off a piece of flesh and leaving a large wound.

McDonald appealed the conviction saying there was a miscarriage of justice. He said the jury's verdicts were unreasonable and were not supported by the evidence.

He acknowledged in submissions that he was guilty of wounding and "perhaps even of assault". But he contended that the motorist was the aggressor and he was the victim. He said that the motorist "stopped the car to have a go at me".

McDonald said the jury could not rationally have determined a number of conflicts in the evidence of the prosecution witnesses which he identified, so could not have been satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that he was not acting in self-defence.

The court said there was no merit in the appeal against conviction and it was dismissed. An earlier appeal against sentence was abandoned in June last year.

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- Auckland Now

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