Guilty plea over crowbar attack

By Edward Gay

Emanu Toafiga. Photo / Doug Sherring
Emanu Toafiga. Photo / Doug Sherring

A 62-year-old man told witnesses that he wanted to kill his 78-year-old neighbour as he stood over him with a crowbar, a court has been told.

Emanu Toafiga pleaded guilty in the High Court at Auckland to causing grievous bodily harm with intent to his elderly neighbour Leslie Otto.

The court was told Mr Otto came at Toafiga with a crowbar, threatening to kill him at their pensioner flats in the Auckland suburb of Waterview.

Toafiga grabbed the crowbar with one hand and punched Mr Otto in the face with the other.

As Mr Otto lay on the ground, Toafiga struck him about his body.

Neighbours stepped in. One of them told Toafiga: "You could kill him, that's enough."

Toafiga responded: "I don't care". He also told neighbours that he wanted to kill Mr Otto.

Mr Otto died in hospital some days later. He had broken ribs and a broken arm caused by Toafiga's attack.

He also suffered from pneumonia and Alzheimers.

Toafinga had originally been charged with Mr Otto's manslaughter but the Crown downgraded the charge after pathologists could not be sure beyond reasonable doubt that it was the attack that caused Mr Otto's death.

Toafiga's lawyer Steve Cullen said his client was sorry for what he had done and was not applying for bail.

Justice Timothy Brewer remanded Toafiga in custody until sentencing next month.


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