The sister of the man who died after being attacked by an axe says she repeatedly screamed and slapped her lifeless brother as he lay covered in blood in the backseat of her car.
The trial for Rydell Tauapiki Martin, 27, at Hamilton High Court where he is defending a charge of murdering Phillip Macpherson with a wood-splitting axe in Pukemiro on March 1, 2019, continues.
He also faces a second charge of assault with an axe on his cousin Hanuere Fisher-Williams.
An emotional Sonia Macpherson told the court she was with her 6-year-old daughter at her father's house on Robert Ave in Pukemiro on March 1, where her brother Phillip also lived.
She had smoked a pipe of marijuana and her brother was drinking with Macpherson and her then boyfriend Jonothan Shand and another friend Shane Matangi.
Sometime later, Shand came running in and said he thought Macpherson was in trouble because they could hear screaming from down the road.
She jumped in her car with her aunty and headed towards her brother's friend's Chris Mawson's house on Joseph St.
They were met by two men standing by a car in the middle of the road - one of whom is the accused - who told her they didn't know who he was.
"I drove past them. I was looking for my brother. I didn't trust them," she said.
"I thought Phil was there somewhere."
She told the court she was aware there had been some trouble between her brother and the Fisher family who lived on Joseph St.
She continued driving past Shand and Matangi, who had jogged down the road to her brother's friend's house and who were speaking to the two other men yelling and saying sorry.
Shand was still holding the axe.
When she got to Mawson's house - also on Joseph St - she started beeping her horn and saw her brother come from the house.
Relieved her brother was ok, she went to tell Shand and Matangi.
It was then she saw Martin holding an axe across Shand's body as he walked him up the street. The two the disappeared as Martin flipped Shand over the fence.
The men reappeared and another man - described as slightly fatter and older than Martin - started kicking Shand.
"I was screaming."
She then planned to run them over in her car because they were hurting her boyfriend.
At this time Martin struck her car with a vacuum cleaner pipe.
"I was screaming at them (Shand and Matangi) to hop in."
They put the axe in the car and were about to get in themselves when they saw an angry Macpherson running down the road so they grabbed the axe back out, she said.
"He [Macpherson] was walking towards Martin - he looked very mad."
The last thing she recalls seeing as she drove off was her brother pointing at Martin who was holding a pipe and looked ready to strike him.
Once she was home, Shand came running back shortly later to get her car before returning with Macpherson in the backseat.
She repeatedly slapped her brother and yelled at him as he lay lifeless covered in blood.
"I was yelling at everyone. 'Put him on the ground, get him to the hospital and do CPR'. I was just screaming.
"I was slapping him. Slapping him hard. Yelling at him."
Victim was praying for his life
A man involved in a scuffle with Macpherson just minutes before said Macpherson was "praying for his life" as he was repeatedly struck with an axe by Martin.
Hanuere Fisher-Williams told the court he had gone out onto the street after being told his younger brother Alazay was being beaten up by two men.
He bumped into Macpherson who he knew thorough his neighbour and they had got into a "bit of a scuffle" after Macpherson told him he should "make him squeal like he had made his dog squeal".
"I wasn't too happy about that. I just flipped," Fisher-Williams said.
Fisher-Williams punched Macpherson who swung back at him but missed.
He also kicked him and with their arms around each other they tripped on the kerb and fell over, he said.
He recalls being hit on the shoulder by an object and being pulled out by his mum who was trying to stop the fight.
Martin then appeared with the axe and as he crawled away he could hear Macpherson begging him to stop.
"Phillip was praying. Praying for him to stop. I could hear him saying, 'That's enough, that's enough. I've got kids'."
Macpherson was lying on his back with his hands up while Martin swung the axe with force.
Others gathered on the street were also telling Martin to stop – but he didn't, he said.
Fisher-Williams who was in pain from being hit on the shoulder then ran back to his family's Joseph St home.
He doesn't recall what he spoke to Martin about when he visited later than night, but said he seemed "happy".
Reluctant witness put in cell
A reluctant witness, who refused to give his name and told the lawyer she asked "some dumb questions" while on the stand, has been put in the cells.
Alazay Fisher Williams – a relative of Martin, the man standing trail for murdering Phillip Macpherson with an axe in Pukemiro – refused to answer questions from the Crown prosecutor Rebecca Mann.
He was called to the stand after the morning break.
Alazay Fisher-Williams was reluctant to give his name or confirm he had ever lived in the north Waikato town of Pukemiro where the alleged murder took place.
When finally pressed on whether Alazay Fisher-Williams was his real name, he said: "F***, it must be."
Mann asked him to speak up and to stop tapping his foot.
"You guys must need hearing aids, f***** hell," he replied.
About five minutes in, Justice Mary Peters said she had enough and asked security to put him in the cells, saying they would check in with him later in the day.
Another witness – his brother – Henuere Fisher-Williams – has been called instead.
The trial is now being heard by a jury of 10 due to illness.