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Accused covered in blood, court told

By Anna Ferrick


A 27-year-old man charged with an assault that left a man in his 50s in hospital for more than a week appeared in the Napier District Court yesterday to stand trial.

Agatupu Samu pleaded not guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The assault on June 29 last year on the seafront near Napier's sunken gardens left the victim severely injured.

The court was told the victim had broken ribs, a punctured lung, a puncture wound to his hip, a ruptured spleen that was eventually removed, a broken finger and cuts and bruises.

Crown prosecutor Clayton Walker said Samu made the initial emergency call to police and suggested the victim should be taken to the cells to "think about what he had done".

Mr Walker said the victim had been drinking, sitting on a grassy part of the seafront. The accused had approached him and spent some time with him.

The court was told Samu left the victim to call a cab, something he repeated twice. Each time he called a taxi, Samu said he could not get the victim to move and the taxis had left.

At 9.10pm, he made an emergency call and asked for the number of a taxi, which an operator provided. He called 111 again at 10.20pm to tell police of the assault. Mr Walker said Samu did not immediately request an ambulance but talked about the victim being drunk, angry and violent. He also said the victim had hit him.

Samu told the police that evening that he had left the victim briefly with two other people who had been walking past. When he returned, the victim had been assaulted and the others were running away.

Samu also told police the victim had tried to hug him and had said "come here, boy". Mr Walker told the court Samu was under the impression the victim was perhaps gay.

Police found Samu by a phone box at the i-SITE. He was allegedly covered in the victim's blood and was wearing the injured man's jacket.

Samu said he had tried to help the victim after the assault and got blood on himself. Mr Walker said blood splatter on Samu's jeans could be consistent with a kick. He told the court blood, possible tissue and a hair were on Samu's shoes. There was no way of knowing if it had been transferred by Samu assisting or kicking the victim.

No one saw the attack and the victim was concussed, could not recall the assault and would not be called as a witness.

The trial has been set down for three days, with the jury expected to retire tomorrow.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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