Woman pleads guilty over cliff plunge hit-and-run

By Rob Kidd

Police officers with the accused. Photo / Christine Cornege
Police officers with the accused. Photo / Christine Cornege

A woman has admitted driving over her partner several times before launching her car into the Waikato River.

Annette Wallis, 44, has pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm on the eve of her trial, which was due to begin in the High Court at Hamilton this morning.

A charge of attempted murder was dropped by the Crown.

The incident began in front of stunned onlookers outside Hamilton shops on November 17, after which Wallis fled the scene.

Her 43-year-old partner suffered serious injuries as she repeatedly drove over him, police said.

One witness followed the woman's car and called emergency services.

When officers arrived, Wallis drove her car over a 10-metre bank and into the Waikato River.

Four police officers went in after her and, assisted by a kayaker, brought her to shore.

She was hospitalised with moderate injuries.

A witness told the Herald he was swimming in the river when he heard a crash.

He looked up and saw the car drive over the bank.

The car flipped before plunging into the river.

The man said he ran to find Wallis had managed to pull herself out of the car.

A boatie who transported her to waiting paramedics, said she had a number of cuts to her face and hands.

"The impact of personality disorders on offending and the risk to the public in future are of great significance," said Crown prosecutor Ross Douch.

Justice John Fogarty accordingly ordered a report to address those factors as well as one to assess the suitability of home detention.

Wallis will be sentenced in October.

- NZ Herald

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