Teen's wound had healed, court told

Murder accused Shaylene Wharerau in the High Court at Whangarei. Photo / APN
Murder accused Shaylene Wharerau in the High Court at Whangarei. Photo / APN

A young man's wound after being stabbed by his girlfriend during an argument had completely healed before it later re-opened, causing his death, the High Court at Whangarei has heard.

Two doctors who saw Brandon Panapa-Ripia, 17, at the White Cross in Whangarei where he came for a change in dressing told the High Court at Whangarei yesterday the teenager didn't complain of shortness of breath or any other medical problems.

Mr Ripia's girlfriend, Shaylene Wharerau, 22, is on trial on a charge of murder and alternative charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and wounding with reckless disregard.

Wharerau has admitted stabbing Mr Ripia in the chest during a domestic dispute on October 30, 2012, but said it was an accident. He had surgery but died three weeks later while shopping in Whangarei on November 20.

Dr John Prinsloo, whose evidence was read in court, saw Mr Ripia at White Cross on November 13, 2012, and said his wound was healing well.

Another doctor, Dirk Zeigert, saw Mr Ripia a week later and said his wound had completely healed and that there was no fluid or signs of infection.

No new dressing was needed, he said. Dr Zeigert said his blood pressure and heart beat were normal but Mr Ripia complained of coughing. Reduced breathing cells were discovered on his right lung upon examination.

Mr Ripia was advised to have an x-ray at the Whangarei Hospital. Pathologist Dr Paul Morrow will take the stand today.

- Northern Advocate

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