Accused pulled knife on me, says ex-wife

Last updated 17:37 14/08/2014

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The ex-wife of a man accused of cutting a woman’s throat at a Porirua house says that while they were married he pulled a knife on her too.

In the High Court at Wellington the woman, Jenny Barker, said she was married for about 13 years to Duane Makatea, also known as Ruka Te Pono Hemopo.

Under the name Hemopo he has been charged with attempted murder, and a less serious alternative charge of wounding with intent to injure, after a woman’s throat was cut. A jury has been told the wound was superficial and was closed with 15 stitches, but was close to the carotid artery.

Barker said during their marriage Hemopo had become controlling and jealous and in about 2000 or 2001 had held a large kitchen knife to her throat and told her to “admit to what she had done”.

As well as the attempted murder charge, Hemopo, 48, is accused of wounding another woman with a hammer at the Porirua house on May 2 last year. Bones in her elbow and shoulder were fractured. The names of the women are suppressed.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges which include two of threatening to kill.

Police shot and tasered Hemopo when they arrived at the house. He is representing himself and asked a doctor questions about bruising shown in photographs of him taken after the incident. Hemopo said the bullet from being shot by police was still inside his body, pointing to the left side of his trunk. He also had a cut throat. The Crown alleges Hemopo cut his own throat after cutting the woman’s.

But he told Detective Damien Doocey that the woman had cut his throat and then he had done the same to her, but not deeply, Doocey said.

Detective Sergeant Michael Tohill said Hemopo told them he wanted to lay charges against the two women because “they started it”.

Hemopo said the women were the violent ones, Tohill said.

The trial is continuing. 

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- The Dominion Post

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