A prominent Whakatane man convicted on two of 12 charges of assaulting his wife has lost suppression over his occupation.
Policeman Adrian Hilterman, a prosecuting sergeant, was found guilty on Friday of kicking his wife Deborah Hilterman while she cowered on the floor, and attacking her while driving.
His trial included video evidence from the pair's 9-year-old son.
Hilterman's sentencing is scheduled for November 3.
Mrs Hilterman told the Herald on Sunday she wanted to give other women the strength to get out of abusive relationships, as she recounted the escalating abuse dished out over a 10-year period by a "well-connected" yet "violent" man.
Speaking from her mother's home, Deborah said the two guilty verdicts had left her "ecstatic", although she had to be told by two police officers outside the court.
"I was too panicked to get out of the car. I had been so strong up until that point."
Deborah was disappointed the jury did not "go further" by returning more guilty verdicts but said she felt vindicated.
For his part, her husband had always maintained his innocence, telling the court his wife was a "nasty, vindictive, controlling woman".
He said he could not remember seeing the injuries his wife claimed that he inflicted.
When contacted by the Herald on Sunday Hilterman said he did not want to comment.
Deborah alleged the abuse started three weeks before the couple's wedding. She said Hilterman kicked her on the thigh, leaving bruising that a witness at the trial confirmed seeing.
The jury found Hilterman not guilty of that charge.
"At the time," Deborah said, "I thought it was a one-off. I thought he would change."
But she told the Herald on Sunday she was struck, pushed, dragged or kicked on "hundreds" of occasions during a tumultuous decade.
She claimed he once attacked her with an angle grinder, slicing off her watch as she tried to protect her face and another time he chased her with a fish filleting knife.
On a third occasion he pushed her over when she was 37 weeks pregnant causing an internal haemorrhage that almost saw them lose their second child.
The jury returned not guilty verdicts on charges relating to all three incidents. Deborah, who is 1.6m and weighs about 50kg said her husband was a big, strong man.
Towards the end of the marriage she said she was subjected to physical force twice a week, usually in front of one or more of the children, now aged 9, 8 and 6.
Deborah, who is still working and plans to stay in Whakatane, said she tried to get help and advice from the couple's mutual friends.
She contacted police for advice on several occasions but was reluctant to lay a formal complaint.
"I wanted it to work so badly. That was my downfall. I thought that things would change."
Deborah said she gradually became more insecure and isolated, often taking on her husband's belief that her behaviour made him hit her.
But it wasn't always that way. At 25-years-old, a "lonely" young doctor far from native Britain, Hilterman was the "perfect" suitor.
Charming, easygoing and confident, he wooed her quickly into what was supposed to be wedded bliss - the couple were engaged after just two weeks. "He was older and I looked up to him, he was almost like a father figure," Deborah said.
She said women in her situation should get out of their relationship and get help, remember they deserve better and put aside feelings of guilt, however hard it might be.
"I think I loved him right until the end. Even at the police station I was thinking 'what have I done to this man?' But it wasn't real love, it can't have been, just like his love for me, it's something different."
And she said she loved him no longer. "We both yelled and behaved appallingly to each other but it should have stopped there."
- with NZ HERALD STAFF