Meat cleaver attack victim still critical

LOUISE RISK AND CHRIS GARDNER
Last updated 16:16 19/10/2012

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LATEST: One of three men assaulted with a meat cleaver in Ngaruawahia last evening is still in a critical condition, police say.

Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Ross Patterson said, at a media conference this afternoon, that the man, who knew his attacker, had received injuries to his neck and body in the attack which occurred at 6.30pm and was taken to Waikato Hospital.

He could not say whether drugs or alcohol had played a part in what he described as a ''violent and malicious attack'' which had taken place against the men who were drinking in a grassed area behind a fence in between two buildings.

 A second victim of the attack is in a stable condition while a third was discharged today.

Mr Patterson said police were continuing to interview witnesses and were happy with the information they were getting from the community.

"Our focus has been on completing the scene examination where the attack took place in an area behind retail stores in Ngaruawahia while at the same time completing forensic analysis of two vehicles linked to the incident and a residential address on Newton St,'' he said.

"A 39-year-old man was arrested at the address shortly after the attack and a weapon, similar in description to that used in the attack was recovered. It is yet to be confirmed if this item was the one used in the attack."

Mr Patterson said the 39-year-old man appeared in the Hamilton District Court today on three serious assault charges.

"Of the men injured, each suffered serious lacerations and one is currently in a critical condition in Waikato Hospital's Intensive Care Unit following surgery while another is in a stable but serious condition in a hospital ward. The third victim was discharged from hospital today."

COURT APPEARANCE

A Ngaruawahia man appeared in Hamilton District Court this afternoon on three charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Warren Lloyd Edwards was remanded in custody without plea.

He will reappear next month after a psychiatric report has been completed.

Edwards' wife and children were in court during his appearance.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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