A high-profile gang member who became the face of Australia's controversial "501" deportation policy was facing active criminal charges of violently attacking a woman at the time of his recent death.
Shane "Kiwi" Martin was a senior member of the Rebels motorcycle gang in Sydney where he had lived most of his adult life, but was deported to New Zealand on "good character" grounds in 2016 despite having only minor drug convictions.
His battle to be reunited with his family in Australia - where his son Dustin is considered one of the greatest players in AFL history - became a high profile story on both sides of the Tasman and the subject of a book.
Unsuccessful in his legal appeals, the 54-year-old was running his trucking business remotely from a beachside apartment in Mt Maunganui until he was found dead on the kitchen floor in December last year.
His unexpected death is believed to be from natural causes and led to an outpouring of tributes.
However, the Herald on Sunday can now reveal that shortly before his death, Martin had been arrested after a heated argument with a woman, which allegedly turned violent.
He appeared in the Tauranga District Court in November and pleaded not guilty to charges of male assaults female, strangulation, burglary and illegal possession of steroids.
Court documents show that Martin and the woman, whom the Herald on Sunday has chosen to not name, had been in an "intermittent relationship" dating back to 2020.
On a Friday evening in October last year, the woman was socialising with friends and ignored several phone calls from Martin.
She returned home at 2am to find Martin in her bed. He knew where the door key was hidden and let himself in, as he had done before. The woman asked Martin to leave, so he called her a "slut" and accused her of "whoring around".
From this point, Martin's version of events differs to that of the police.
Martin would later tell detectives that he left the address after a heated argument with the woman, but "he would never hurt her".
Police allege that Martin punched her in the face, threw her around the bedroom, grabbed her by the neck and squeezed, and bit her finger. A vase was broken during the alleged struggle.
When Martin left, the woman called 111. The police officer who turned up at the address noticed she had a swollen, bloodied lip and "slight redness" on her neck.
Martin called the woman's mobile phone "multiple times" which left her "visibly shaking", according to the police officer's observations.
She declined to make a formal complaint to the police. But the detectives believed they had enough evidence to prosecute Martin anyway because of the transcript of the 111 call, and the injuries to the alleged victim, according to a police spokesperson.
Empty vials of steroids were found at his address when the police charged Martin in November. According to court documents, he admitted using steroids to improve muscle growth from gym training.
The police declined to comment further on the specifics of the case on privacy grounds.
"However, in general we can confirm where matters are prosecuted in line with the Solicitor-General's guidelines, the victim is informed of case developments as the investigation progresses," the spokesperson said.
"Some victims are pressured to withdraw by the suspect or other parties, however, police seek to obtain evidence early and put measures in place to ensure victims are supported through the prosecution process.
"Victims are at the centre of what we do. Police encourage anyone who has concerns for themselves or someone they know, or is in a situation where they feel unsafe, to get in touch with police."
The alleged victim did not "support the prosecution", said her lawyer Hannah Stuart, but declined to comment further.
Martin's lawyer, Ron Mansfield QC, said: "As a result of the sad passing of Shane Martin, I decline to comment".
Martin left Huntly as a 20-year-old to live in Sydney where he started a family and successful business before it was taken away from him as one of thousands of "501" deportees, nicknamed after the section of the immigration law used to remove them.
Australia introduced the policy in 2015 and it provides grounds to deport anyone who has been sentenced to more than 12 months in prison or convicted of child sex offences.
A small number are deported solely on "character" grounds, such as Martin, most often because of gang links or if they are considered a risk to national security.
The circumstances of how Martin was forcibly removed from Australia had weighed heavily on his mind.
"I was depressed and angry for a while and took it out on my wife a bit. We'd just got married; two weeks after that I got deported, separated for nearly three years," Martin said in an interview with the Herald in 2019 to promote his book Rebel in Exile.
"I thought 'oh I've gone backwards, because it's so slow'. I've since then had to eat my words about New Zealand. But I still want the freedom to come back to Australia."