Wellington woman Allison McPhee and the man accused of killing her were being affectionate toward each other earlier on the night police believe the 42-year-old Newtown woman was viciously beaten.

A prosecution witness at the murder trial of John Hone Haerewa, 53, told the High Court at Wellington today that she had been visiting Ms McPhee at her Newtown Park council flat on July 22 last year.

Jessica McLean said they were drinking bourbon together that afternoon. Another friend called in and Ms McPhee gave him $20 to get some cannabis, which the trio smoked.

In the evening, Hone Haerewa arrived "quite intoxicated".

Advertisement

Mrs McLean: "He was happy drunk. We sat at the table and carried on drinking".

When the alcohol ran out, the accused and Ms McPhee went to a nearby supermarket.

Carrying a cask of wine, she returned without him, and said Hone had fallen asleep outside another block of apartments.

When Mrs McLean suggested going to look for him, Ms McPhee replied: "No, leave him there."

"She just couldn't be bothered getting him back to the flat. She sounded a bit angry, a bit upset," Mrs McLean said.

A short time later two firemen who found Haewera lying on a Newtown footpath delivered him back to Ms McPhee's bed-sit and she let him in.

The pair sat talking to each other and drinking. Mrs McLean said she was standing in front of the heater waiting for her husband to collect her. She could hear Haerewa asking Ms McPhee if she would "be there for him" and look after him.

Agreeing to do so, Ms McPhee had her head resting on his shoulder as the couple chatted, cuddled and leaned into each other.

The other visitor had left and Mrs McLean said she wanted to go home and "leave Allison and Hone together."

Their relationship was fine and she did not think they even noticed when her husband arrived and she left with him.

Ms McPhee had given Mrs McLean a key to the flat in case she wanted to come back again for some time out. After learning of the murder, Mrs McLean gave the key to the police.

Jarrod McLean told the court that Ms McPhee and the accused seemed pretty drunk when he called in to get his wife.

The pair, both of whom he knew, were sitting at the table, their heads resting on each other "just having a drunken snooze or whatever".

Neither acknowledged they had seen him or responded when his wife said goodbye.

Later that night, the next door neighbour Tuahine Taunoa heard banging and arguing through the concrete walls.

Mid-afternoon, he had seen Ms McPhee and "her boyfriend" - whom he identified in court as Haerewa - having an argument outside her door. They were about the width of a face apart and her expression was "stressful".

He said he went into his flat and thought nothing of it.

Settling down to watch his favourite television programme which started at 10.30pm, Mr Taunoa heard the noises from Ms McPhee's place which he thought was fighting .

The racket would stop and start in different directions, he said.

"It calmed down about 11.20pm when my programme was due to end."

He went to bed and fell asleep.

- NZPA