Backside kick wide of the mark

JOELLE DALLY AND DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 05:00 20/06/2013

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What was intended as a kick to the backside during a round of golf landed the victim in emergency surgery after he copped it in the testicles instead.

The 26-year-old suffered multiple haematomas in his scrotum, which required three hours of surgery and a further two days recovering in Christchurch Hospital.

The incident at a Christmas function at the Tai Tapu Golf Club last December had its sequel in the Christchurch District Court yesterday, when Michael John Graham, 33, admitted assault.

Police had refused to grant Graham diversion, a scheme that allows first offenders to avoid a conviction. He will now seek a discharge without conviction instead.

Police said Graham, an exterior plasterer, and the victim, a painter, were contracted to the same company and had never met before the end-of-year function on December 21.

They were placed in the same group to play golf, and had already played a few holes and drunk alcohol when the incident occurred.

Witnesses said the painter had been "acting the fool" and this had annoyed others in the group.

He was told to retrieve a golf tee marker he had kicked away, and as he crouched to replace it Graham kicked him once from behind.

Instead of getting him in the backside as intended, his skate-style shoe impacted with the man's scrotum.

At the time, police said the victim walked down the road "in a lot of pain" and was helped by a passer-by, who phoned an ambulance.

He spent two days in hospital after undergoing emergency surgery on the haematomas, was off work for two months and reportedly suffered ongoing pain.

The court heard yesterday that Graham wanted to plead guilty to a more minor charge, but the police prosecutor, Sergeant Jon Harris, insisted they were going ahead with the more serious assault charge instead.

"It did have relatively serious consequences for the complainant," he told Judge Richard Watson.

Defence counsel Andrew McKenzie acknowledged that there seemed to have been dire consequences from the kick, but he asked that no conviction be entered for Graham so that an application could be made for a discharge without conviction.

Judge Watson remanded Graham on bail to July 16 for the application to be heard.

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