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Atiamuri victim hit 70 times: expert

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/03/2017 Jill Nicholas

Cuts on Nina Thompson's ear and below her eyebrow and hairline looked like the kind a boxer might inflict, a pathologist has told a Rotorua court.

Ms Thompson, who also suffered a fractured cheek bone and severe brain injuries, was likely to have been further beaten with a pipe, forensic pathologist, Dr Simon Stables, said at the trial of William Manuoa Te Hiko in the High Court at Rotorua.

Forty-four-year old scaffolder Te Hiko has pleaded not guilty to murdering Queenie Karaka, generally known as Nina Thompson, at Atiamuri in April last year.

While accepting Te Hiko caused Ms Thompson's death, his defence lawyer argues it is a case of manslaughter not murder.

The Crown accuses Te Hiko of attacking Ms Thompson after the pair had been drinking and arguing at his home on the Ongaroto marae.

Dr Stables said Ms Thompson received at least 70 blows to her body when she was attacked, some likely to have been inflicted by a pipe, others by kicking or stomping

Patches of her hair and the skin below it were missing, her lips split open and her arms and chest severely bruised.

He described the injuries to her arms as defensive, indicating she had attempted to fend off her attacker.

Earlier there were gasps and sobs from the public gallery when a detective produced a 118cm long, bloodstained iron bar, the Crown claims was used to beat Ms Thompson.

The trial continues.

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