Knife assault over $20k of drugs

Last updated 07:23 01/04/2014

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A 54-year-old man is facing trial at the Blenheim District Court after being accused of holding a knife to the throat of a heavily pregnant woman.

Mark William Morris Gould, of Rapaura, pleaded not guilty to one charge of assault with a weapon, one of assault with intent to injure and one of willfully intending to pervert the course of justice.

In court yesterday, Crown prosecutor Mark O'Donoghue said the charges related to December 29, 2012, when Gould entered a house and threatened the occupant, a woman who was 7 months' pregnant at the time, holding a knife to her neck and demanding to see her partner. He also demanded his "drugs back", said O'Donoghue. Gould told Constable Aaron Senior in an interview that the drugs in question referred to marijuana with a street value of about $20,000, O'Donoghue said.

The prosecutor said two women then entered the house and began punching the victim and pulling her hair.

Defence lawyer Daniel-Smith said Gould was assisting one of the women who was looking for stolen cannabis.

"He [Gould] thought she [the victim] knew where the cannabis was but he did not know where it was so he starting searching the house when the other women came in," said Daniel-Smith.

"He shouted at them: ‘Leave her alone, she's pregnant'.

"He didn't use a knife, didn't have one with him."

Mr O'Donoghue said two months later, on February 21, 2013, Gould sent a man to the victim's house to offer them $1000 up front and "a few thousand after" to not give evidence.

In court yesterday, the victim said she feared for her and her unborn baby's life.

Gould was screaming at her while holding the knife to her neck, she said.

"He was in rage like the devil. I could tell that he was really pissed off and that he wanted his weed."

Once he let her go, two women came in and began punching her head and face, she said.

"They dragged me from the hallway to the kitchen by my hair and put me in the corner and was strangling me. I was trying to protect my baby."

The trial was set down for two days. Gould was remanded on bail overnight.

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- The Marlborough Express

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