Man denies driving into partner, judge disagrees

A man who drove his car into his partner on the footpath at Rutene Road last September did so deliberately, a judge has ruled in Gisborne District Court.

Murray George Wilson, 52, was found guilty of assault with a weapon — a V6 car, after a judge-alone trial.

Judge Charles Blackie imposed 12 months supervision, 200 hours community work, and a six-month driving ban.

Wilson and his long-time partner, with whom he is still in a relationship, each gave evidence. But Judge Blackie said neither was credible or truthful.

In contrast, he had “no hesitation” in accepting the evidence of two “very credible” independent witnesses, one of whom lived in a house nearest the scene, the other directly opposite.

Their accounts were similar and under cross-examination, each was unwavering, the judge said.

Both were alerted to noise and yelling on the roadside. Each saw a man angrily slapping or punching the front passenger side window of the car then return to the driver side. As he did so, a woman jumped out from the passenger door and started walking away.

The man revved the car engine, drove over the curb, and directly at her and on to an embankment.

One witness described the driver as “gunning down” the woman.

The other said the woman was catapulted into the air, spun around a couple of times, then hit the ground.

Two children and the driver got out of the car. The driver went briefly to the woman but returned to the car and sped off.

One of the witnesses took the woman and children to his house. An ambulance came and the woman was assessed as uninjured.

Police could not find Wilson immediately but spoke with him the next day. Wilson’s evidence in court was similar to what he told a constable and similar to what his partner said in evidence. Wilson claimed to have pulled over during an argument because his partner wanted to get out and walk home. Although annoyed with her, he still went to open her door — he customarily did that for women. It was locked so he knocked on the window a couple of times, to get her to unlock the door.

As he went to drive away, he said he accidentally mounted the pavement and drove into his partner because the wheels of the car were still turned inward to the curb.

“I sure as hell wouldn’t do it to my darling deliberately,” Wilson said.

The revving witnesses heard was typical for his six-cylinder car.

“Yeah it’s a heavy car . . . that (noise) would’ve been from me putting foot down ‘cos it’s an automatic.”

Wilson said he wanted to check on his partner and went to do so but left abruptly as he felt intimidated when he saw a man (one of the witnesses) approaching.

Judge Blackie said Wilson was clearly angry and his partner was clearly scared — enough to have locked her door and to have taken an opportune moment to try to escape Wilson as he returned to the driver’s side.

The path taken by the car could not have been accidental but was intentional.

Had it been accidental, Wilson would have been expected to get out, express sympathy and sorrow, and do all he could to assist his partner. He would not have left her at the roadside with the children to walk home.

He would not have gone to some remote place and hidden himself away avoiding giving an explanation, until the next day. The judge noted that Wilson, by his own admission, had a propensity to run from police when in trouble.

It was only good luck for Wilson his partner was uninjured, or he would have been facing some sort of detention sentence.

Wilson’s previous convictions were mainly for drink-driving and other Land Transport Act offences. He had just one previous for violence, an assault in 1986.

Supervision could help Wilson address his obvious problem with alcohol.

His use of the car to commit a crime justified the driving ban.

Leaving the courtroom, Wilson called to the judge, “I don’t know what my state of mind was at the time your honour, but I definitely did not try to run my partner over”.

A man who drove his car into his partner on the footpath at Rutene Road last September did so deliberately, a judge has ruled in Gisborne District Court.

Murray George Wilson, 52, was found guilty of assault with a weapon — a V6 car, after a judge-alone trial.

Judge Charles Blackie imposed 12 months supervision, 200 hours community work, and a six-month driving ban.

Wilson and his long-time partner, with whom he is still in a relationship, each gave evidence. But Judge Blackie said neither was credible or truthful.

In contrast, he had “no hesitation” in accepting the evidence of two “very credible” independent witnesses, one of whom lived in a house nearest the scene, the other directly opposite.

Their accounts were similar and under cross-examination, each was unwavering, the judge said.

Both were alerted to noise and yelling on the roadside. Each saw a man angrily slapping or punching the front passenger side window of the car then return to the driver side. As he did so, a woman jumped out from the passenger door and started walking away.

The man revved the car engine, drove over the curb, and directly at her and on to an embankment.

One witness described the driver as “gunning down” the woman.

The other said the woman was catapulted into the air, spun around a couple of times, then hit the ground.

Two children and the driver got out of the car. The driver went briefly to the woman but returned to the car and sped off.

One of the witnesses took the woman and children to his house. An ambulance came and the woman was assessed as uninjured.

Police could not find Wilson immediately but spoke with him the next day. Wilson’s evidence in court was similar to what he told a constable and similar to what his partner said in evidence. Wilson claimed to have pulled over during an argument because his partner wanted to get out and walk home. Although annoyed with her, he still went to open her door — he customarily did that for women. It was locked so he knocked on the window a couple of times, to get her to unlock the door.

As he went to drive away, he said he accidentally mounted the pavement and drove into his partner because the wheels of the car were still turned inward to the curb.

“I sure as hell wouldn’t do it to my darling deliberately,” Wilson said.

The revving witnesses heard was typical for his six-cylinder car.

“Yeah it’s a heavy car . . . that (noise) would’ve been from me putting foot down ‘cos it’s an automatic.”

Wilson said he wanted to check on his partner and went to do so but left abruptly as he felt intimidated when he saw a man (one of the witnesses) approaching.

Judge Blackie said Wilson was clearly angry and his partner was clearly scared — enough to have locked her door and to have taken an opportune moment to try to escape Wilson as he returned to the driver’s side.

The path taken by the car could not have been accidental but was intentional.

Had it been accidental, Wilson would have been expected to get out, express sympathy and sorrow, and do all he could to assist his partner. He would not have left her at the roadside with the children to walk home.

He would not have gone to some remote place and hidden himself away avoiding giving an explanation, until the next day. The judge noted that Wilson, by his own admission, had a propensity to run from police when in trouble.

It was only good luck for Wilson his partner was uninjured, or he would have been facing some sort of detention sentence.

Wilson’s previous convictions were mainly for drink-driving and other Land Transport Act offences. He had just one previous for violence, an assault in 1986.

Supervision could help Wilson address his obvious problem with alcohol.

His use of the car to commit a crime justified the driving ban.

Leaving the courtroom, Wilson called to the judge, “I don’t know what my state of mind was at the time your honour, but I definitely did not try to run my partner over”.

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