A Waihi woman accused of trying to kill her ex-partner after twice grabbing the steering wheel which led to a head-on crash has been acquitted of attempted murder.

After almost four hours of deliberations, the jury in the High Court at Rotorua on Thursday found Maxine Avlon Paul, 58, not guilty of attempting to murder Mark Bickley.

However, the jury found Paul guilty of two charges of dangerous driving causing injury to Hamilton couple Ciaran Dunn and Zoe Rothnie.

The charges against Paul stemmed from a collision on State Highway 2 near the intersection with Aongatete Rd on January 7, 2017.


Dunn and Rothnie were in a Toyota Surf Hilux hit by Bickley's station wagon as it careered across the centre line and slammed into the Hilux in the southbound lane.

Both vehicles were extensively damaged, and all four involved in the crash suffered serious injuries.

Rothnie was still suffering the effects of a concussion and has a hearing loss; the Crown told the court.

Bickley told the jury that his then-partner twice grabbed the wheel as they headed home with "a lot of more force" the second time, and told him she was going to kill them both.

A nurse, who gave first aid to Bickley and Paul at the scene, said when Paul had regained consciousness, without prompting she admitted she caused the accident.

Paul, who suffered some injuries, including a head injury, told police she had no recollection of the crash when she was interviewed about a month later.

A police crash analyst said that the yaw marks and gouges on the road were evidence of a "sudden forceful" turning of Bickley's car to the right, with no signs of braking.

Justice Rebecca Edwards convicted Paul of both dangerous driving causing injury charges and remanded her on bail for sentencing at a later date yet to be scheduled.

Paul's bail conditions include a ban on her driving any motor vehicle and travelling out of the country. She was earlier had to surrender her passport to the court.