A woman was so terrified she wet herself and feared for her life as she was beaten and held captive by her partner over the course of a weekend, a Rotorua District Court has been told.

Former Bay of Plenty Steamers rugby player Wade Tamihana Pereira, 25, is on trial in the Rotorua District Court after pleading not guilty to a charge of kidnapping.

At the start of the trial, Pereira pleaded guilty to two counts of injuring with intent to injure, one of which related to an earlier incident where the complainant had her teeth knocked out.

Opening for the Crown yesterday, Rotorua Crown prosecutor Laura Owen told the jury that between November 19 and November 21, 2011, Pereira carried out a series of vicious attacks on the woman - punching, headbutting and smothering her. She said each time the woman tried to escape, he prevented her from leaving.

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The woman, who at that point had been in a relationship with Pereira for four years, said she thought she was going to die and was so frightened during her ordeal she wet herself twice.

The jury of six men and six women was shown a video interview with the complainant conducted by police on November 23, 2011. During the interview she told police that at 4.05pm on November 19 Pereira returned to the Rotorua house they shared, walked straight up to where she was cooking him steak and "smacked her in the mouth".

She described how Pereira seemed to have snapped for no apparent reason.

"It was the look in his eye. I hadn't done anything," she said. "Why was he so angry towards me?"

She said for the rest of the night Pereira switched between physically and verbally abusing her and "being nice" to her. At one point he finished cooking dinner, cutting up her food because she had been punched in the mouth. He also brought her pillows and pain relief pills but each time she hoped it had stopped, he would hit her again.

"He said he had only just started, 'this was nothing, you will be black and blue by the time I am finished with you'."

She described how Pereira yelled at her to stop crying and screaming, keeping her away from the walls in case neighbours heard and using a blanket to smother her.

The complainant told police she tried to leave a couple of times but Pereira would either hit her or throw her away from the door. She said she begged him to stop beating her and asked to be taken to hospital, as she could feel her eyes rolling in her head, her body twitching and she was having trouble breathing, hearing and seeing. But Pereira refused, she said.

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That night he helped her to bed, the court heard.

"I remember thanking him for helping me. How sick's that?"

The assaults continued the next morning, the court heard, with Pereira apparently "set off" after finding a tampon wrapper and demanding to know who had been in the house.

Later that day, Pereira's two brothers turned up to the house and he asked them for a ride to a nearby supermarket, saying he would be back "in a minute". She said he was gone for 10 to 15 minutes but she was too petrified to try to escape, in case they drove past or he caught her outside. She said she also felt physically unable to leave because of her injuries.

"It wasn't that easy to leave."

After sleeping on the couch that night she woke in the morning to Pereira again swearing and screaming at her, the court heard. When somebody knocked on the door, she was able to escape out another door and walk the short distance to a relative's house, where police and an ambulance were called.

The trial continues.