Discharge sought after CBD assault

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A Brazilian-born man found guilty of assaulting a woman in Queenstown last year wants a discharge without conviction.

Paulo Ricardo Martins, 43, of Queenstown, denied assaulting Glenda Manley on February 1.

But judge Christina Cook found him guilty after a trial in the Queenstown District Court on Tuesday.

Martins approached her and a friend twice in central Queenstown after midnight.

Manley, a restaurant manager, says she eventually “flicked” her bag at Martins and told him to “go away and leave us alone”.

“And then he hit me.

“I can remember seeing a bright light and feeling the pain in the side of my head and that was that.

“I don’t remember anything else until getting pulled out of the taxi on Camp Street.”

She says she was struck on the left side of her head, near the temple.

Manley and her partner returned to their hotel.

But during the night she was taken to Lakes District Hospital by ambulance and treated for a mild concussion.

She took at least two weeks off work, was referred to a concussion clinic, treated by a psychologist and was not allowed to drive.

Manley’s partner, David McHugh, a hotelier, turned just in time to see the assault.

McHugh then assaulted Martins – who also required hospital treatment – and subsequently received diversion.

Defence lawyer Liam Collins claimed Manley had hit Martins with her handbag and he had “put his hand up to the side of her head”.

Constable Abby Pagel said two hours after the incident Martins was intoxicated and had limited recollection of events.

She rated his level of drunkenness at “about a seven out of 10”.

Pagel also spoke to Manley and McHugh at their hotel and found it “difficult to believe that they had really even consumed much alcohol”.

Judge Cook took into account Manley’s recollection of events in conjunction with the CCTV footage.

The judge found Manley’s medical records were consistent with a punch to the side of the head.

She accepted Pagel’s evidence and ultimately found the charge proven.

Collins sought for the matter to be adjourned to apply for a discharge without conviction, to be heard on January 16.

Judge Cook asked for restorative justice to be explored.

Assaulted wife

A former Queenstowner has been found guilty of assaulting his wife in a shopping centre carpark last year.

Dean Philip Scott, 50, now of Auckland, denied striking or intending to strike his wife at the Remarkables Park carpark on May 30.

During a trial in the Queenstown District Court on Tuesday, witness Sheina Huffam says she spied the couple arguing while on a break from working at Dick Smith Electronics.

She says the man swore at the woman and told her to get into a vehicle.

Huffam continued watching the couple and saw the woman, who had been crying, in the passenger seat with her arms over her face and head, as if to protect herself.

She saw the man make a movement as if to strike the woman “on the head with his hand”.

“From what I could see, it looked like it was coming down on the top of her head.”

She went to her vehicle, pretended to get something from it, and recorded the vehicle’s number plate and called the cops.

Scott, who represented himself, asked Huffam if she saw any direct physical contact.

Huffam says she didn’t.

But she believed given the motion and how fast his hand was going down “in my personal experience, there is no stopping”.

The victim admitted crying but denied there was a physical altercation.

A DVD interview with Scott was played in court – he admitted the verbal argument, but denied striking or intending to strike his wife.

“Maybe I put my hand on her shoulder when I was talking to her, but I never struck her or hit her at all.”

Judge Cook found Scott guilty on the basis of the threat of an assault.

She says the issue wasn’t whether the allegations occurred but if the charge had been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

She found Ms Huffam a “concise and accurate witness, completely without bias”.

Cook was satisfied there was “[an] act with the intention of applying force and that amounted to a threat”, pursuant to the Crimes Act.

Scott was convicted, fined $400 and ordered to pay $404 in witness costs and $130 court costs.