Public servants fight assault allegations

Last updated 05:00 26/03/2013
A  public official, whose name and occupation are suppressed, has appeared in the Hamilton District Court, accused of beating a woman.
BEN CURRAN/Fairfax NZ
CHARGED: A public official, whose name and occupation are suppressed, has appeared in the Hamilton District Court, accused of beating a woman.

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A public servant has appeared in court after allegedly dragging his partner along the floor by the hair, before beating her.

The man is one of two senior Waikato public servants due in court this week charged with assault.

The cases are unconnected, with the second defendant accused of having assaulted two people - one allegedly a family member.

Extensive suppression orders prevent naming or giving details of the occupations of either of the men, who are from different Waikato towns.

The first accused, who appeared for a defended hearing in the Hamilton District Court yesterday, denies charges of assaulting a woman and a child in two separate incidents in 2010 and 2011.

But his victim alleges she was dragged across their bedroom floor by the hair as she was bent trying to free herself from his grip during the incident in December 2011. She told the judge yesterday the man pushed her head down before she was able to free herself.

She hit him with a piece of driftwood in the lower back and tried pushing him away but he grabbed her again, dragging her by the hair.

He is also alleged to have punched her in the cheek.

Her son also gave evidence of seeing his mother lying half on her bed and half on the floor.

She was screaming while the man punched her.

The boy then called 111 for help.

In the witness box, the woman said she was shocked and terrified by the incident.

However, her son testified that she and the defendant often argued, with his mother often instigating the altercations.

Her son also alleges the defendant pushed him off his boogie board and held his head under water for a few seconds while swimming at their local swimming spot during January 2010, prior to the assault. However, the man's lawyer, Bruce Hesketh, said the 15-year-old was lying and the man had not tried to hold his head down.

Instead the boy simply got flustered and panicked about being under water.

As for the man's former partner, Mr Hesketh said his client would testify that she grabbed and twisted his finger and refused to let it go, which was why he grabbed her hair.

The hit to the face was accidental as he tried to pull his hand away, Mr Hesketh said. In his cross-examination, Mr Hesketh put it to the woman that she was simply being vindictive in laying the charges.

He said the defence would produce two witnesses who would testify that she had told them she would reduce him to no more than a "parking warden" and "security guard" once she had finished.

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The hearing, before Judge Andree Wiltens, continues today.

Judge Wiltens will also hear the man's argument for continued suppression this morning, before the hearing starts.

Meanwhile, another public official will appear in the Huntly District Court today on three charges of assault relating to two people, one of whom is believed to be a family member.

The man declined to comment on the charges when approached by the Times, saying he was unable to while the case was before the courts.

His employer also said they were unable to comment until the case was resolved and would not confirm if he was at work or had been stood down.

- Waikato Times

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