Mother-of-two dies after assault

By Kristin Edge

A Whangarei mother of two has died in hospital after a domestic dispute, and more serious charges are likely to be laid against the man accused of assaulting her.

Patricia Anne McGrath, 34, died yesterday. She had been taken to hospital on Saturday morning after suffering head injuries during an assault in her Fairway Dr, Kamo, home the night before. It is believed Ms McGrath - who has two children, aged 15 and 12 - was taken off life support on Sunday and died about 1pm yesterday.

Friday's assault was serious enough to warrant investigation by uniformed and CIB police staff. Police teams interviewed neighbours in the area at the weekend and took away exhibits from the house. Whangarei police Detective Sergeant Shane Pilmer said it was highly likely more serious charges would be laid against Phillip Andre Mahanga, 32, who has been charged with assaulting Ms McGrath.

On Monday, Mahanga appeared in the Whangarei District Court and entered no plea to the assault charge. He was remanded in custody until January 21. Mahanga is also accused of breaching bail, and is in custody until February 19 on that charge. Mahanga and Ms McGrath had been living at the Fairway Dr home together.

Yesterday a friend wrote on the Northern Advocate's website: "RIP Trish. You were such a nice, loving, caring and wonderful woman and u were taken away so early. Arohanui goes out to your whanau and kids."

- Northern Advocate

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