Police prosecutor charged with assaulting woman, child

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 13:11 26/03/2013

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A man facing assault charges after allegedly dragging his partner across a room by the hair was a police prosecutor.

Suppression this morning lapsed in the case of Dougal Matheson, 47, who has worked as a Thames-based police prosecutor and remains employed by the police but on other duties.
 
Matheson, who appeared for the second day of a defended hearing in the Hamilton District Court today, 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.

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

The woman's 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, Matheson's lawyer, Bruce Hesketh, said the 15-year-old was lying and Matheson had not tried to hold his head down.

Instead the boy simply got flustered and panicked about being underwater.

As for the Matheson's former partner, 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, Hesketh said. In his cross-examination, 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.

The hearing, before Judge Andree Wiltens, continues today.

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- Waikato Times

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