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Meat cleaver wielded before death

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/04/2016

Kelly Kirk © Fairfax Kelly Kirk A man was swinging a meat cleaver at guests at his Lower Hutt home before he was shot and killed by his partner's daughter, a court has been told.

Adam Watkins, 39, died after he was shot by Daryl Kirk three times with a semi-automatic rifle.

Kirk, 20, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Watkins at their Taita, Lower Hutt home in February last year, maintaining she shot him in self defence.

On the night Mr Watkins was killed, the group had guests over when he and Kelly Kirk - the accused's mother with whom he had a stormy relationship - got in a heated argument.

Mr Watkins had a history of being abusive to his partner, says Hanna Burke.

"He had come in and pretty much verbally lost it," she told the High Court at Wellington on Tuesday.

"He had her in tears, all that could come out of her (Kelly Kirk) mouth was 'why are you doing this to me Adam'.

"That was his usual way, to nut out like he did."

Mr Watkins threw a can at Ms Burke's head before he challenged her to a fistfight. He then grabbed a meat cleaver and told everyone to leave.

He was swinging the weapon around "like a madman" and the "psycho" episode continued for around 20 minutes, Ms Burke said.

"He was chopping at everyone with it. It wasn't just me... I feared for my life at one stage."

Kirk then grabbed the rifle.

She fired six times with three of the bullets finding their mark. One shot entered his back via a ricochet off a door.

The Crown alleges one shot was fired at Mr Watkins as he tried to get away.

One of the central themes of the case is whether Kirk or anyone else was at immediate risk and if Kirk's actions were manifestly excessive.

The trial continues.

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