Accused says victim shot himself
The victim of a shooting near Raglan says he drove himself to a relative's house - to eventually collapse on a porch - trying to avoid choking on his own blood.
In the High Court in Hamilton today, Steven Robert Nicol, 32, denied a charge of the attempted murder of Christopher Young in Cogswell Rd, Raglan, on April 18 last year.
Nicol's lawyer, Matthew Bates, said his client also denied an alternative charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Young had shot himself after the pair struggled with the gun in the front seat of a Holden Rodeo, Bates said.
Crown prosecutor Ross Douch said Nicol had picked Young up from a friend's flat in Ulster St, Hamilton, on the night before driving out towards Raglan.
After a long drive, Nicol eventually found the road he was looking for - Cogswell Rd.
Nicol had been reversing the Holden Rodeo, which he had previously stolen, into a gravel layby when he asked Young to see if he there was a enough room.
Young opened the door and guided Nicol before starting to turn back into the car and Nicol shot him through the side of the face with a sawnoff .22 rifle, Douch said.
Nicol fled the scene.
Young drove to a friend's house in Churchill Ave, Maeroa, before collapsing on the front porch, Douch said.
Giving evidence, Young said the impact had felt like he'd been hit with the butt of the rifle and he had turned to see Nicol holding the rifle on his lap.
"I'm looking out the side of the door guiding him back, 'sweet as, mate', then 'boom'," Young said.
"I remember the car was still rolling back at the time ... I didn't get to fully turn around and 'boof', I was hit by something."
In questioning from Douch, Young said the impact put him in a daze, "my head was humming, and everything just seemed twilight zoney, yeah".
"It was obvious that I had been whacked or hit by something."
Despite blood starting to fill his throat, Young managed to wrestle the gun off Nicol and he asked him why he had shot him.
"He said, 'you know what that was all about', but still to this day I don't and he proceeded to take off into the darkness."
Young said he was disorientated but his adrenaline was pumping and he had panicked as the blood kept coming up "from somewhere at a torrent".
"[Like] I had a hose in the back of my throat, just running blood."
Young testified his first thought had been to get the gun off Nicol, which he did.
After Nicol fled, he threw the gun under the seat, jumped into the driver's seat and drove to his aunty's house in Churchill Ave when police were called, Young said.
At the start of the trial before a jury of five men and seven women, Nicol pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawfully taking a vehicle, unlawful possession of a firearm and burglary.
The trial, overseen by Justice David Collins, is expected to finish on Wednesday.