Man allegedly hit partner with spade

TRACEY CHATTERTON
Last updated 12:58 18/02/2013

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Hawke's Bay

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A Napier man hit his partner in the back of the head with a spade, fracturing her skull, a court was told today.

Andrew Tauira Whatarau then allegedly went inside his house, leaving the woman lying in a pool of blood.

Neighbours were woken by the couple's arguing and rang the police in the early hours of April 22 last year.

The woman was rushed to Hawke's Bay Hospital with a six-centimetre wound to the back of her head. She also suffered a fractured skull and bleeding to the brain.

Whatarau is defending a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, in the Napier District Court today.

The couple were drinking at a party when they began arguing, the court was told.

The woman alleged that Whatarau had been unfaithful to her, hit him in the face and left the address.

When she arrived home, Whatarau had already returned to their Maraenui house and locked her outside.

Crown prosecutor Nicola Graham said the woman banged on the door and pleaded to be let in but Whatarau ignored her.

Their arguing woke up the neighbours. The woman then picked up a tree branch and started smashing windows.

Whatarau responded by grabbing a spade, running outside and hitting her in the back of the head.

Mrs Graham said a neighbour watched the assault from her window and saw Whatarau run back inside and turn the lights off.

"He left her lying in a pool of blood," Mrs Graham said.

Phone records revealed that Whatarau never rang an ambulance. Neighbours alerted police to the assault.

Whatarau initially told police that the woman hit her head when she fell. He later said he was defending himself because the woman was attacking him with a tree branch.

The trial continues.

Contact Tracey Chatterton
Hawke's Bay reporter
Email: tracey.chatterton@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @trackchatt

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