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Political figure in home violence case
The Dominion Post
Last updated 05:00 14/08/2009
A high-profile political figure involved in a Family Court case is accused of screaming obscenities, trying to kick down a door and grabbing the neck of a woman, who is now seeking a protection order against him.
The Dominion Post has been gagged from revealing any details relating to the identity of the two parties, including their political affiliations.
The woman applied to the Family Court in Auckland for a protection order under the Domestic Violence Act. The man in turn applied for an “occupation order” against the woman. The order is an attempt to force her out of her home, the court was told.
The woman’s lawyer, Antonia Fisher, said yesterday, on the second day of the hearing, that during one incident the woman “was frightened to the point that she felt she couldn’t breathe”. She had been concerned by the man’s “emotional instability and his recent unusual behaviour”.
Mrs Fisher said the man had once tried to kick down the woman’s door. “He seemed to see nothing wrong with attempting to kick down the front door.”
The woman wanted to stay in her home and had nowhere else to go. “The home is a real source of security for her.”
A witness who gave testimony via a video link from overseas said she had heard the man “yelling and screaming” obscenities at the woman in the past.
The court heard that he yelled because the woman was constantly “haranguing” and “criticising” him. The witness said she tried to talk to the man many times about his behaviour, telling him “it was abusive and really unacceptable”.
Mrs Fisher asked the witness whether she was aware of the man grabbing the woman by the neck on one occasion.
The witness said the man “accepted what he had done” and she had told him “grabbing someone in the neck was inappropriate at any time”.
The man’s lawyer, Anthony Grant, said his client was seeking the right to occupy the home.
It was “not that surprising” that there might have been shouting between the pair, he said.
His client rejected claims that he had grabbed the woman around the neck: “He said he touched her on the shoulder and the back of the neck.”
Judge Sarah Fleming has reserved her decision.