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Kidnap trial: Woman fled through window

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 10/11/2016

<span style="font-size:13px;">A witness in the trial of nine Head Hunter gang associates feared for her life when she fled out of bathroom window after hearing her partner being attacked.</span> © SNPA A witness in the trial of nine Head Hunter gang associates feared for her life when she fled out of bathroom window after hearing her partner being attacked. Terrified and fearing for her life a kidnap trial witness has told of squeezing out a bathroom window as her boyfriend was being savagely attacked.

The woman, whose identity remains secret, moved into her second round of evidence in the High Court at Rotorua on Thursday. She'd begun testifying via video link on Tuesday but took a break on Wednesday.

When she started her evidence Justice Timothy Brewer allowed her to keep a colouring book with her after prosecutor Chris Macklin said it helped soothe her nerves. She's also allowed to take frequent breaks.

On trial before a jury of 11 are Benjamin Paul, Dwyer, 28, Stephen William Daly, 33, Jordan Alexander Christian, 21, David Peter Clark, 36, Brent Anthony Gunning, 37, Liam John Kane, 24, Matthew John McDonnell, 45, Stacy Walton Dennis Paora, 29 and Sam Wiremu Rolleston 23. They have pleaded not guilty to more than 100 charges laid either separately or jointly.

The kidnapping charges relate to the witnesses' wealthy businessman partner and a man who worked for him being forced from his Lake Tarawera retreat in the early hours of February 17 last year.

The witness told how she'd heard a lot of footsteps moving around outside before the home invasion and then nudged her bedroom door shut to conceal herself.

"I heard yelling, I thought I heard [the businessman] yelling "stop, stop" multiple times, I could tell he was being attacked. I thought: `Oh my God', I tried to find somewhere to hide, the wardrobe was too obvious."

She said she locked herself in the en suite but knew its lock was flimsy and she wasn't safe.

"I was shaking, extremely scared for my life . . .there was a lot of yelling and banging, it sounded as if someone had come in the front door, been jumped on."

As she'd attempted to crawl out the window, she'd seen someone outside and realised she'd been spotted.

"As I was climbing out there was banging on the en suite door, I was absolutely terrified, dropped everything, ran for my life."

She'd attempted to outfox anyone pursuing her by returning to the house, where she hid under pillows until some time after she heard several vehicles drive off.

"I thought: 'Oh my God, my boyfriend might by lying in a pool of blood' but there was no one there."

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