Man left ex to die from his bashing

Last updated 05:00 13/05/2014

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An Invercargill woman who suffered a brutal beating by her ex-boyfriend was left to die in her room.

David Jackson Mahia, 31, yesterday admitted the murder and sexual violation of Nicola Jean Fleming, 38, on February 9 last year.

Mahia, who appeared in the Invercargill High Court before Justice R Dunningham, entered guilty pleas after last week appearing at a sentence indication hearing.

Justice Dunningham suppressed details relating to the sexual violation and remanded Mahia in custody until sentencing on June 19.

Crown solicitor Mary-Jane Thomas, reading the summary of facts, said Mahia and Fleming had been in an on-and-off relationship for a year.

On February 9, Mahia was told Fleming was seeing someone else, the court was told.

About 2am Mahia went to where Fleming was staying in Tyne St and met her outside.

He grabbed her hair and pulled her down stairs and across to a carpark, where he hit her.

They then went to the Otepuni Gardens, where Mahia pushed Fleming into the river and then attacked her in the gardens.

Fleming asked for help to get back to her accommodation and Mahia carried her to her room.

He says he last saw her on the floor of her room, where she was covered by a blanket, the court was told.

Thomas said at some point Fleming got off the floor and on to her bed, where she died some time overnight.

An autopsy revealed Fleming had extensive injuries and the cause of death was blunt trauma injuries to her head, body and extremities.

Thomas said Mahia later went back to the room and could see from underneath the door that Fleming was not on the floor.

He contacted the hostel manager and with a locksmith, they opened the door.

He called emergency services and said his girlfriend had died and that he killed her, Thomas said.

Mahia, under an arrangement, later handed himself in to police.

In a police interview he said he intended to give Fleming a hiding but not to kill her.

In the police interview, Mahia said he was truly sorry, Thomas said.

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- The Southland Times

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