The Veitch saga: what Kristin told police

Last updated 07:11 24/08/2008
Tony Veitch

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KRISTIN DUNNE-POWELL has told police that broadcaster Tony Veitch kicked her on three occasions during their four-year relationship before the incident which injured her back.

The Sunday Star-Times can also reveal one of the seven charges against Veitch alleges he threw a glass of water in her face and that she went back and slept in his bed with him the night he allegedly kicked her so hard in the back he damaged her vertebrae.

Dunne-Powell has not given her version of events publicly and has refused interviews since the claims against Veitch were revealed last month.

Veitch has said only that he lashed out in anger at Dunne-Powell in a "terrible incident" in January 2006 which he regretted. The incident happened two months after Dunne-Powell moved out of the St Heliers home they shared for seven months.

Dunne-Powell told police she was preparing to leave the house after a heated argument when he kicked her two or three times in her lower back and she collapsed. She says Veitch asked her if she was OK and brought her a pillow before going to bed. She also went to sleep on the floor and then got herself back to bed where she again fell asleep. He subsequently took her to Auckland City Hospital at 4am and he stayed with her until he had to start work at 6am.

The Star-Times understands Dunne-Powell's back was not x-rayed for another two months. Veitch has said he became aware of the damage to her back only at that point.

On Monday, police charged him with six counts of assault on a female and one of injuring with reckless disregard. He said outside the Auckland District Court that he would vigorously defend the charges and was relieved that he finally knew the extent of the allegations against him. It is expected to be at least a year before Veitch stands trial. He resigned from Television New Zealand and Radio Sport in the furore last month after the allegations were made public.

The details around the charges shed light on the couple's volatile and tumultuous relationship. Dunne-Powell told police she was first assaulted during the first year of their relationship, which began in 2002. She alleges that after an argument, Veitch forced her against a wall and shouted at her before kicking her several times in the leg as she tried to get away.

The next assault is said to have occurred in the two-year period between April 14, 2003 and April 9, 2005 when the couple were staying at a secluded hilltop holiday home in Mangawhai, Northland.

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Dunne-Powell alleges that during another argument she was chased, grabbed by the shoulders and thrown on to a bed and that Veitch then threw a glass of water in her face. The next allegation involves an incident about midnight on June 3, 2005, when Veitch and Dunne-Powell were staying at the Rotorua Lakeside Novotel hotel where that morning, Veitch hosted "The Lions Sporting Breakfast" during the Lions rugby tour. He had broadcast his national Radio Sport breakfast show from the hotel and that night hosted a "Locals versus the Lions" version of his television show Game of Two Halves. Former league star Tawera Nikau headed the "local heroes" team in the event, on the eve of the Lions' game against Bay of Plenty.

After the show, Veitch and Dunne-Powell allegedly argued in the bar and he followed her to their room, where she started packing to leave. She has told police he grabbed her from behind and threw her on to the bed before straddling her and pinning her to the bed. She left the hotel and returned to Auckland. The next charge relates to an incident alleged to have happened just over a month later at the home they then shared in St Heliers, when they again argued, this time over their relationship.

Dunne-Powell alleges Veitch came at her and chased her from the lounge to their bedroom, where he shouted at her and prevented her leaving before kicking her in the thigh and leg. She alleges she later sought physiotherapy because she had trouble walking.

Two more alleged assaults occurred before the January 2006 incident in which police allege vertebrae in Dunne-Powell's back were fractured.

The first, on Guy Fawkes' Night, happened just before Dunne-Powell moved out and the second, just over a month later. On the second occasion, Dunne-Powell again alleges she was kicked in the legs as Veitch removed her from his house, where she had been staying the night.

Veitch's lawyer, Stuart Grieve, and spokeswoman Glenda Hughes declined to comment, other than to stress Veitch strongly denied the charges.

 

- © Fairfax NZ News

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