Manslaughter charge over domestic abuse death

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Patricia Ann Mcgrath (insert) died at Whangarei Hospital. Photos Supplied/John Stone
Patricia Ann Mcgrath (insert) died at Whangarei Hospital. Photos Supplied/John Stone

A Whangarei man accused of assaulting a mother of two during a domestic dispute who later died is now facing a manslaughter charge.

The man, who has interim name suppression, was again remanded in custody when he re-appeared in the Whangarei District Court today on charges of assault and manslaughter.

His lawyer Eb Leary did not apply for bail.

The man is accused of assaulting Patricia Anne McGrath, 34. She was taken to Whangarei Hospital on January 4 after suffering head injuries during an alleged attack in her Fairway Dr, Kamo home the previous night.

Ms McGrath - who has two children, aged 15 and 12 - was taken off life support two days later and died on January 8.

The accused will re-appear on February 14.

Meanwhile, Ms McGrath's whanau and hundreds of other people marched through central Whangarei this morning to protest against domestic violence.

Her brother John McGrath led the march to raise awareness that domestic violence was unacceptable and communities needed to stand up and help those caught in violent relationships.

About 500 people turned out for the peaceful march and included Queenie Dunn, mother of murdered 17-year-old Mairina Dunn, Karen Edwards, mother of Ashlee Edwards, and Steve Elliott, uncle of murdered woman Sophie Elliott.

Those who marched carried posters of those they had lost to domestic violence. The march went down Bank Street through the town's major intersection and back into Laurie Hall Park where a number of speakers voiced their message to the hundreds gathered.

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