Focus on the Land
Threw partner, broke her leg
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
A JURY has accepted a man broke his partner’s leg when he picked her up and threw her hard against concrete steps at a Rata Street house as she fled from him.
Donald Waewae Uatuku drove his injured partner back to their home on the bonnet of his car and left her there.
Uatuku, 37, was convicted in Gisborne District Court of causing grievous bodily harm to his “on-and-off” partner with intent to injure on March 17, 2011.
Uatuku pleaded guilty to two further counts of assaulting a female by punching her three times in the head before he threw her, and by punching her again back at their home when he told her not to go to sleep.
He was remanded in custody to be sentenced on November 5.
Uatuku was found not guilty of assaulting his partner in a separate incident on May 24.
The three counts had originally been charges of injuring with intent to injure, to which Uatuku pleaded not guilty. They were amended.
Crown prosecutor Jo Rielly told the Crown they could draw inferences from Uatuku’s acknowledged actions.
He had previously denied allegations of punching his partner.
Uatuku was angry and chased his partner, who ran to neighbours for help.
She was punched and neighbours heard a verbal dispute.
Soon afterwards the complainant suffered a broken leg.
Mrs Rielly said there was the sound of “a large snap”.
The complainant landed hard and could not get up.
Uatuku said “get up bitch”.
The complainant was in pain the next morning and an ambulance was called by a public health nurse.
Mrs Rielly said Uatuku intended to cause serious harm.
Counsel Adam Simperingham said the Crown had to prove that point beyond reasonable doubt.
He suggested the Crown had “gone too hard” with the original charges.
No one, including Uatuku, realised how seriously injured the complainant was, Mr Simperingham said.
A surgeon who operated on the complainant had said she had soft bones.
Uatuku grabbed the clothing on her right shoulder as she tried to enter a house, counsel said.
The complainant said she “fell wrong”.
Mr Simperingham said the complainant fell awkwardly and broke her leg.
Uatuku helped his partner to the ambulance the next morning.
Mrs Rielly and Mr Simperingham both described the complainant as a reluctant witness.
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