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Jury told to use common sense in domestic stabbing trial

Filed under: Domestic Violence,General,Law & Courts — domviol @ 1:00 am Sun 11th June 2006

An Auckland District Court jury in the trial of a woman charged with stabbing her husband heard closing arguments yesterday.

The 34-year-old woman has pleaded not guilty to one charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Police said her injured husband, 49, called them on February 20 last year about 3.30am, saying his wife had stabbed him twice in the back and once in the back of the leg in their Queens Street apartment.

The accused said he inflicted the wounds on himself.

The couple’s names and nationality are suppressed.

Crown prosecutor Tiffany Robertson asked the jury to use its common sense when deciding its verdict today.

“The defence case is that he (stabbed himself),” Ms Robertson said.

“Using your common sense you will see that that is absolute rubbish.”

Ms Robertson referred to evidence from an emergency doctor that treated the husband after the incident who said it was highly unlikely the wounds were self-inflicted.

“You can’t discount that (the wounds were self-inflected), but you are not asked to determine what is humanely possible — you are asked who did it.”

She reminded the jury the couple had problems in their marriage, and three weeks prior to the incident the accused inquired with a friend about separation processes in New Zealand.

Ms Robertson said the accused showed no concern for her husband’s wellbeing during her video-taped police interview on the night of the incident.

“At no time did she say to the officer in charge `How is he?”‘

Ms Robertson said this was a case of domestic violence that could have been very serious.

Defence counsel Michael Corry asked the jury to lift the examination of the evidence out of the “bizarre” and focus on forensic evidence.

“It’s not for you to decide who is telling the truth, you merely have to be unsure.”

He said members of the jury need to write on paper when they retire to decide their verdict `Am I sure?”‘

Mr Corry reminded the jury there was no evidence of blood found on the accused, her hands, her clothing, or in her bed from her husband’s injuries.

The couple slept in separate rooms.

Mr Corry referred the jury to evidence from forensic pathologist Dr Rex Ferris who was surprised no blood from the husband’s punctured artery in his calf or his back wounds was found in his bed, but in a pool beside it.

Mr Corry said the first factor for the jury to consider was `Could he do it?’ then `Why would he do it?’

The husband was recalled yesterday to clear up some discrepancies in his evidence.

He had told the jury different dates for when he left his job in his home country.

The husband said he was an adviser to the prime minster of an African country, but when the ruling party was overthrown in the late 90s he had to leave.

His wife followed to New Zealand at the end of 2004.

He said his wife was employed by the new government to kill him.

She said he was just a body guard to the prime minister, a job he continued with in New Zealand.

Judge Anne Keirnan will sum up the case today.

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