Matthew Backhouse

Matthew Backhouse is an APNZ news reporter based in Wellington.

Court: Broadcaster threatened to kill

Iain Stables in court. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Iain Stables in court. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Broadcaster Iain Stables allegedly became so enraged at being ordered to leave his flat that he tore up the eviction notice, spat in the face of his ex-girlfriend's mother and rammed her car.

The incident on March 20 last year took place while Stables was living with his then partner, Kimberley O'Hagan, in a flat at the front of her parent's property in the Wellington suburb of Seatoun, his trial at Wellington District Court was told today.

The Crown alleges Stables flew into a rage just hours after he was told to leave the flat by his partner's mother, Marianne O'Hagan, who gave him an eviction notice after finding damage at the flat.

Kimberley O'Hagan, a clinical psychologist, told the jury she had been in an "on and off" relationship with Stables since 2006.

She said Stables was "really distressed" at being evicted and upset about how her mother had delivered the notice.

Family members came from the main house to investigate the noise.

Ms O'Hagan said Stables became angry at her father Robert and raised his fists.

Her brother Martin intervened to protect his father and Stables punched him in the head.

Their mother then came down the path, carrying a terracotta pot "out of fear".

Stables tore up the eviction notice, spat in her face and chased her up the path to the house.

Kimberley O'Hagan followed to find the ranchslider door was buckled and her mother was lying on the floor.

"I thought she'd had a stroke."

Ms O'Hagan locked herself and her mother in a bathroom and called police.

Stables then rammed his four-wheel-drive vehicle into a parked car three times before driving off.

Under cross-examination, Ms O'Hagan said her brother and father had done nothing to provoke Stables, and they were frightened more than angry.

Marianne O'Hagan told the jury she had evicted Stables because he was "trashing" her flat by smoking inside and kicking in a heater.

She was worried how Stables might react so she informed police of her plans to evict him before delivering the notice at noon.

The altercation started about six hours later, when she was serving dinner.

"When I heard the shouting, the altercation, I thought 'My God, this is serious.'"

She grabbed a pot for protection and headed down the path to see Stables hitting her son.

Stables turned to her and asked if she was going to hit her with the pot, so she replied no and put it down. He then tore up the eviction notice.

"He ripped it up and spat in my face and I said, 'Iain you're a sick man, you need medical help.'"

She said Stables "lost all control of his temper".

She ran to the house and closed the ranchslider door, but Stables pulled the door open and punched her in the side of the head. She lost her footing, tripped on the steps and hit her head, leaving her "completely dazed".

Under cross-examination, Mrs O'Hagan denied she had ever entered Stables' flat without permission - something which his partner said had annoyed him.

In his opening statement, Crown prosector Ian Murray that when he was found and arrested by police, Stables told them: "How can I be culpable of this in my state of mind?"

Defence lawyer Gretel Fairbrother said her client had admitted ramming the car, but denied the assaults and threatening to kill.

"It is quite a different matter to ram a car than it is to assault a person."

The trial continues tomorrow.

- APNZ

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