'Punches thrown during robbery'

Last updated 11:56 04/12/2012

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A man accused of aggravated robbery punched the complainant in the head, an Invercargill District Court jury was told yesterday.

Kauri Te Tomo, 24, is charged with aggravated robbery following an alleged incident on January 17.

His trial started before Judge Raoul Neave yesterday.

Complainant Benjamin Smith told the jury he and his brother had driven to his mother's house when they noticed two men on the footpath.

Mr Smith said his brother got out of the car and went to a neighbour's house, but Mr Smith got into the driver's seat and performed a three-point turn.

He saw a person standing in the street, and another on the footpath. The men were yelling and swearing at him, he told the jury.

The court was told the men had approached Mr Smith to complain the car was driving too fast.

One man walked to the left side of the vehicle and the other to the right and they both started punching him, Mr Smith said.

Believing they were gone, he got out of the car but one of the men was behind him and led him up to the house.

The other man asked how much money he had and when he told him $25, demanded he give it to him and asked what else he had, Mr Smith said.

The other man later punched him again, he said.

Te Tomo's lawyer Peter Redpath said the issue was one of identification.

The trial continues today.

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- The Southland Times

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