An Auckland man is on trial charged with horrific abuse of his partner including hitting her in the face with a hammer and tying her hair to a tow-bar before driving away.
Haranui David Selwyn Harris, 27, is facing 51 charges related to abusing his partner Te Aroha Maria Pomare over an eight year period.
Prosecutor Dale Dufty told the High Court at Auckland yesterday that Harris was a man who used "unrestrained and callous violence on his female partner".
"He is a jealous man with a bad temper. Violence was often sudden and unprovoked, sometimes it was for his own amusement," he said.
In 2003 Harris allegedly assaulted Pomare while she was pregnant because she did not want his dog in the house.
And on New Year's Eve he allegedly punched her in the head and ribs while they were at a friend's house.
Harris said in 2005 he punched and kicked her on the floor of their kitchen because he "decided she had stolen his smokes".
He also allegedly slammed her leg in a car door and attacked her with a wooden spirit level because she asked him where he got his t-shirt.
On another occasion he ran at her with a knife, inflicting a wound on her leg, Dufty said.
In late 2007 Pomare answered the door with her long hair down.
"He flew into a jealous rage," Dufty said.
Armed with a knife he took her outside, tied her hair around the tow bar of his car and drove away, dragging her down the driveway.
Pomare later went to the hairdresser and Harris caught her brushing her hair, Dufty said.
"This was something she was not allowed to do."
Harris allegedly cut off hunks of her hair with a filleting knife.
He was charged with assaulting her on different occasions using a bottle as a weapon, and. on a later occasion, a screwdriver.
In January 2008, Pomare interrupted Harris while he was playing Playstation.
He struck her "square in the face with a hammer", breaking her teeth, Dufty said.
In other incidents, he was alleged to have beaten her with a toolbox and tied her up with a chain before throwing her from a veranda.
Dufty said the man had been charged in the past but Pomare did not turn up to court after Harris beat her and threatened her with his Black Power associations to stop her from testifying.
He said Black Power members were present and "she wouldn't leave court alive if she put him in jail".
For this Harris was charged with two counts of corrupting a witness.
Many of the alleged assaults were carried out while there were court orders out against him.
Harris was charged with 17 counts of breaching protection orders.
Defence lawyer Quentin Duff said Pomare's story was a "reconstruction" that took snapshots of real events and weaved them with a "fabric of lies".
He said it was "sick" but Pomare wanted to "keep the flame alive" and keep control over Harris.
Duff said it was a violent relationship but one that went both ways.
"Many of the times where there have been complaints she didn't show up in court because she wanted to keep the control,'' he said, not because he had terrified her into not testifying.
"It's sick and it's not what the court process is for. You cannot rely on this woman."
The trial before Justice Patricia Courtney is scheduled to last two weeks.
Is that the best Quentin Duff can come up with as an excuse for his client's behaviour? The the victim wanted to keep the flame alive, and didn't turn up to court because she wanted control?
Abusive relationships are weird things that are impossible to understand, unless you have been there.
I remember a time when i could not speak in my own home, without getting screamed at, my property smashed, and holes punched in walls - and the more that person screamed at me, destroyed my things, and the angrier he got - the more i wanted and tried to get him to love me again.
I know that everyone has a right to legal representation and all that jazz, but i don't understand how lawyers who have to defend scum like Haranui Harris sleep at night. I really don't.