Man blinded in eye-gouge attack

Last updated 13:15 09/04/2014

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A Canterbury man says he heard a "pop" as a man gouged his right eye during an attack in his bed, a Christchurch District Court assault trial has been told.

The Oxford man has lost sight in the eye from the injuries he received in the August 10 attack which the Crown alleges was carried out by 23-year-old Rangiora man Jordan Isle.

Isle has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting the man with intent to injure him, and wounding him with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Isle denies he was the man who made the afternoon attack, but the Crown's witnesses will say the victim knew him and recognised him, and that text messages linked him to the incident.

The Crown will call nine witnesses during the trial which should end this week.

Crown prosecutor Arpana Raj said Isle had stayed on the man's property, in a housebus, for about six months.

After he left, Isle claimed the man owed him money for cannabis which had been sold for $600 "to get rid of it".

Raj said text messages on the day of the attack showed a message from Isle's phone offering to help "roll" someone, and accusing the intended target of "threatening to rape my kids".

She said the victim had heard a "pop" when the attacker was pushing his thumb into his right eye with a considerable amount of force.

The assault victim gave evidence that he believed people knew that he had 1989 conviction for rape, when he was aged 20.

He said that on August 10, as he lay asleep in bed during the day, he woke to find someone in the bedroom. He realised it was Isle when he spoke.

The intruder then jumped on top of him and tried to strangle him. He fought for his life to get the attacker's hands off as he felt himself going unconscious.

The attacker then gouged his eye with his thumb, punched him in the head, and bit him on the finger.

The attacker then stopped the assault but demanded to know where the man's phone, drugs, and money were.

The victim then escaped outside the house where he saw another person at a car.

He returned to the house, and dived through a window. He then went across paddocks, fences, and a drain to the road and flagged down passing cars.

The man said he had been prosecuted for cultivating cannabis which the police found on the property after the incident.

Raj said the trial would be told that an opthalmologist treated the victim's eye, but it had lost its lens and had 100 per cent retinal detachment. It was not possible to save the sight in that eye.

Cross-examined by defence counsel Tim Twoomey, the man denied that he was a cannabis dealer, though he said he had a conviction for possession for supply when he was aged about 20. He is now aged 44.

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He said he rarely smoked cannabis because it caused anxiety but put it in butter and cooked with it as medication for pain arising from injuries from a tractor accident. He now used prescribed medication instead.

He said he had sold cannabis that Isle had been growing to pay for power that he had used while he had been living on the property. He had texts from Isle after he moved out about owing money for the cannabis. He denied that he had enemies in the drug trade.

He said he was not under the influence of cannabis at the time of the attack.

The man said the attacker had been "trying to scoop my eye out".

The trial is continuing.

- The Press

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