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Murder accused admits beating victim

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/03/2017 Jill Nicholas

Enraged and high on P, weed and alcohol, James Te Hiko beat his partner in a savage, prolonged attack that culminated in her death, he has told a Rotorua court.

The 44-year-old scaffolder testified in the High Court at Rotorua on Friday where he is standing trial for the murder of Queenie Karaka, generally known as Nina Thompson, at Atiamuri in April last year.

Te Hiko has pleaded not guilty with his defence lawyer accepting the accused caused Ms Thompson's death, but arguing it is a case of manslaughter not murder.

On Friday, Te Hiko told the jury he had been on the verge of entering rehab at the time of the attack and planned to marry Ms Thompson once he was clean.

However, he became enraged with her and demanded to know who else she was seeing when she told him: "How do you know I haven't replaced you already?"

."I smacked her clean off her seat, smacked her into the next room screaming f*** who is it?" Te Hiko told the court.

He continued the attack, knocking her off the toilet seat where she was sheltering and throwing her around so her blood was left on the walls, while demanding she unlock her phone so he could see who she'd been texting.

He disputed a forensic pathologist's claim Ms Thompson had been hit at least 70 times, saying it was more like four or five.

"I was throwing her around. That was where all that bruising came from."

When his partner lost control of her bladder and bowels, he said he cleaned her up, apologised and asked her to phone the police so they could come arrest him.

"She was just moaning, telling me to shut up," he said.

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