Bashed Frenchman give evidence

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One of two Frenchmen bashed and robbed in Papamoa while hitchhiking to Rotorua last year has described being left feeling "not very well and shocked" after being punched 4-5 times.

The 21-year-old complainant is giving evidence by audio-visual link from Belgium at the aggravated robbery trial of Che Teraumate Bridger, 25, in Tauranga District Court today.

He was badly bruised after being punched 4-5 times by the front-seat passenger, and had his cellphone and some of his travel documents taken.

The other complainant is also due to give evidence from Belgium today, also lost his back-pack and a wallet containing travel documents and cash from around his neck.

Bridger, whose trial began yesterday, has denied two counts of aggravated robbery.

The charges stem from allegation that Bridger together with Bo-Tamati Rawiri, 26, assaulted and robbed the Frenchmen while they were hitchhiking from Tauranga to Rotorua on July 7, 2012.

The complainants say they were picked up near Papamoa Domain Rd, and driven to an abandoned petrol station near Welcome Bay turnoff, then attacked and robbed.

On Monday Rawiri gave evidence telling the jury that the driver of the car was Bridger
and he was the front seat passenger.

Rawiri, who has admitted his role in the robbery has already been sentenced.

The trial expected to take five days continues.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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