A witness was spoken to by a trial judge after he became increasingly agitated and began swearing about his continuing cross-examination in the kidnapping and bashing trial of Kaiapoi businessman David Clemence.
Matthew Darryl Pender-McLean began swearing after about two hours of cross-examination by defence counsel for Clemence, Chris McVeigh, QC.
Christchurch District Court Judge Gary MacAskill sent the jury out of the room, and when the trial resumed he told it he had asked Pender-McLean to calm down and try to answer questions without swearing.
He told jury members that it was important that they see witnesses as they were, even if they were upset, angry or emotional. "But it has reached a point where I think the dignity of the process requires that minimum standards be adhered to."
He told the jury: "I think you have probably got a good impression of the sort of man he is. I don't mean that adversely. I see no reason why the bad language should continue."
When the trial resumed, McVeigh put to Pender-McLean that photographs did not bear out his evidence that he had been the victim of the beating he described.
Apart from the injury to his right eye, which he said was split when he was initially caught, the other injuries to his face and head appeared to be "minimal".
"The injuries are not consistent with being kicked with steel-capped boots and kneed in the head," McVeigh said.
When McVeigh put to him that he had not been dunked in the river while his hands were tied, but became wet from pools of water at the Kaiapoi scene where he was caught siphoning diesel, Pender-McLean denied it and abused McVeigh.
Pender-McLean told the court that he thought Clemence was "gutless" and should admit that he and other men had administered the two-hour beating to the two men caught stealing fuel.
He said the cross-examination was "b......."
"I would rather be at home sorting out my problems and out looking for a job and moving on with my life," he said.
Today is the second day of the trial in which Clemence denies charges of kidnapping the two men, assault with intent to injure, assault, assault with a weapon, and threatening to kill or do grievous bodily harm.
The charges arise from an incident on a riverbank in Kaiapoi on April 11, 2011.
The men say they were beaten for two hours, had their hands tied behind them, blindfolded, questioned about other thefts and dunked in the river before being handed over to the police.
They have admitted the thefts and been sentenced.
McVeigh questioned the truth of Pender-McLean's evidence, particularly about not having spoken to his co-offender since the incident.
He pointed out that Pender-McLean had been arrested for breaching his bail condition not to contact the other man.
The witness denied telling the co-offender to say that they had been "dangled off the bridge".
McVeigh took Pender-McLean through a printout of his criminal record, which included sentencings for receiving stolen property, burglary, driving while disqualified and a drug charge.
He had received community work and prison sentences.
In 2011, he received home detention for the offending – stolen car, tools and diesel – that has been referred to during the trial.
"So what? I’ve got a history," Pender-McLean said.
The co-offender, Carl Edward Clark, now 25, told of going to the drilling rig and being caught there by a group of about nine Pasifika men, who he thought were speaking Samoan and some English.
He said a man called Dave arrived and kicked him in the face.
"He was the angriest. He asked why we were stealing his stuff," said Clark.
He said he could sometimes hear Pender-McLean screaming.
Clark said he was then tied and blindfolded and Dave kept punching and kicking him in the ribs and head, and standing on his throat to get information from them.
Clark said he thought he cracked a rib because he was finding it hard to breathe.
He said someone then threw him in the river but held him by the hood to make sure he did not go under the water.
Clark said the police then arrived and he heard Dave tell them that they were "banged up" because they had tried to escape.
Clark said he was "not really injured - not as bad as Matt".
Cross-examined, Clark said he and Pender-McLean had been drinking bourbon and using cannabis that day.
The trial is expected to last all this week.
- © Fairfax NZ News