You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Defence lawyers challenge victim's memory

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/03/2017

A woman brutally bashed and left for dead in the Dome Valley has had her testimony in court challenged by defence lawyers implying her memory is affected by her injuries.

The now 20-year-old woman was found critically hurt and dumped by a road north of Auckland in May, 2016, with Nicola Jones and Julie-Ann Torrance standing trial for attempted murder.

Wayne Blackett has pleaded guilty to attempted murder.

The three, along with Michelle Blom, also face a series of charges between them, including kidnapping, sexual violation, cutting the victim's hair and assaulting her during a prolonged attack in Auckland.

Jaclyn Keates has pleaded guilty to related charges.

Prosecutors say it is "nothing short of a miracle" the woman, who cannot be named, was found alive after being bashed with a hammer and left for dead.

On Tuesday in the High Court at Auckland, Blom's defence lawyer Julie-Anne Kincade disputed the woman's version of events.

The woman had on Monday said the attack started when she was forced into a car containing Jones, Torrance, Blom and Keates in central Auckland before she was repeatedly punched and driven to Blom's house.

There in a basement she was bashed with a cricket bat and wicket, sexually violated and held captive with cable ties on her wrists and ankles before being taken to the Dome Valley where Jones, Torrance and Blackett attempted to kill her, she said.

But Ms Kincade cast doubt on how many times Blom struck the woman when she was first put into the car and then insisted her client wasn't in the basement when the woman was assaulted.

She said Keates, who gave testimony last week, had already said Blom wasn't in the basement when she attacked the woman.

The woman accepted she had not seen who attacked her but said she could identify all four women because she knew the sound of their voices.

Ms Kincade also pointed to a statement the woman had earlier given to police in which she claimed Blom was also in the car when she was later taken to Dome Valley.

However, the woman now accepts this is incorrect.

Ms Kincade said, as that statement showed, the woman had patched together a version of events using what she remembered in combination with what police and family had told her and what she had read in news reports.

"Because of the passage of time and all of the things that have gone on, you have tailored your evidence to fit some of the things you have been told," she said.

Jones' lawyer Maria Pecotic argued along the same lines, but the woman disagreed with both lawyers, saying she was confident her recollections were accurate.

The trial continues.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon