Jury struggles for verdict in abuse case

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SLOW PROGRESS:  A jury is struggling for a verdict in an abuse trial in Napier. PHOTO FILE
SLOW PROGRESS: A jury is struggling for a verdict in an abuse trial in Napier. PHOTO FILE

The jury in the trial of Napier man accused of "sadistic" offending against his partner is struggling to reach unanimous verdicts

The jury have been deliberating at the High Court in Napier for 20 hours after coming back this morning for the third day.

Timothy Hebberley is waiting to hear his fate on 28 charges including rape, sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, injuring with intent, assault with intent, male assaults female, assault with a weapon, kidnapping, threatening to kill, intimidation and threatening grievous bodily harm.

The jury of seven women and five men have told Justice Helen Cull they cannot decide on some charges.

Justice Cull has allowed them to make a majority verdict if 11 of them agree, and one disagrees.

She addressed the jury, and said they've reached a point where it's possible to deliver majority verdicts - but only if 11 of them agree.

She says if they don't have 11 agreeing, then they are not in a position to give a verdict.

The Crown alleges the 20-year old branded his partner with a hot wire, burnt her with lighters, cigarette butts and candle wax, intentionally dislocated her limbs, and locked her in a small room with a dangerous dog for two hours.

It's also claimed he punched, kicked and strangled her, assaulted her with a knife, cups, plates and an X-box controller, threatened to kill her, and kidnapped her.

Two grievous bodily harm charges relate to allegations Hebberley threatened the complainant and her father with a knife during a volatile incident when the pair split up late last year.

The defence claim he was acting in self-defence, and any sexual activity was done with his partner's continual consent.

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