A Rotorua tattooist threatened to cut off a woman's head with a samurai sword and douse her in petrol and set her alight, a court has been told.

He also threatened to drive her into the Waikato River and once stuffed a T-shirt down her throat, strangling her, the High Court at Rotorua heard today.

Jamie Dean Keremete, 43, is accused of 22 sex and violence charges involving two women.

A number of the charges, which include threatening to kill, rape, intentional injury and threatening to do grievous bodily harm are representative, meaning they allegedly happened more than once. The charges span a period from 2006 to 2016 in Taupo, Rotorua and Reporoa. He denies them all.

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Opening the Crown's case, prosecutor Andy Hill described Keremete as a man with a voracious sexual appetite and a split personality.

In private he could be jealous and violent by physically, mentally and sexually abusing his victims while in public he appeared loving and caring.

"Ultimately it was the dark side of his personality that took over," Hill said.

He described how Keremete had chased the first complainant through Rotorua's Kuirau Park, ripping a panic alarm from around her neck, which she wore because she was so terrified of him.

In an attack on the second complainant, a balaclava-clad Keremete smashed his way into her car with a crowbar and belted her across the knee, Hill said. Neighbours heard her screams as she hid in a ditch.

A witness would describe how he saw the second woman looking like a broken dog because of the violence inflicted on her, Hill said.

Keremete's lawyer Bill Nabney said the defence case was there'd been no sexual abuse involving the first complainant and her credibility was at issue.

Keremete would deny being responsible for any injuries claimed by the second complainant, maintaining sex between them was consensual.

The first complainant testified via video link, telling the jury about being with Keremete in a Rotorua pub when he'd become enraged, calling her a s*** and w**** because she danced with other men. When bouncers threw him out she left.

As she was walking through Kuirau Park Keremete grabbed her from behind, squeezing her arms tightly.

"I was screaming, telling him to leave me alone, someone walked past, he said 'It's alright babe' pretending he was cuddling me with love, not anger."

She claimed Keremete yanked off the panic alarm she wore to alert police if she needed help. He'd ordered her into a taxi repeatedly punching her.

"I had a feeling something might happen, I said to the driver 'if you hear of anything happening around here you'll know it's me'," she said.

She claimed Keremete forced her into his car where he smothered her and punched her private parts, leaving her in agony. She subsequently skipped the country.

Questioned by Nabney, she agreed she'd made five complaints to the police about various assaults on her by Keremete for which he pleaded guilty but hadn't revealed the attack on her private parts because it was too personal.

The trial's before Justice Matthew Palmer QC.