'Horrific injuries': Witness describes finding woman on road

7:43 pm on 28 February 2017

The couple who discovered a woman who had allegedly been kidnapped and left for dead on a rural road north of Auckland have told a court about her horrific injuries.

Entrance to the High Court in Auckland

The High Court in Auckland. Photo: justice.govt.nz

Nicola Jones, Cameron Hakeke, Michelle Blom and Julie-Anne Torrance are on trial in the High Court in Auckland on charges including kidnapping, assaults using a taser and scissors, and robbery, over the incident in May.

Ms Jones, Ms Blom and Ms Torrance also face charges of sexual violation.

Wayne Blackett has admitted charges of attempted murder and assault.

Kathleen Tolman and her partner, Stephen Piggot, live up a metal road in the Dome Valley, just off State Highway 1.

Giving evidence in court today, Ms Tolman described the moment she discovered the woman lying on the road, as she was driving to work.

"I didn't know at first what it was because a lot of people dump rubbish and things in that part of the road and I just thought someone might have just dumped something there," she said.

"But when I flicked my headlights on, I saw the person move, the leg moved."

Ms Tolman said she stopped her car in the middle of the road. With her lights on, she could see the woman lying on her side.

She was frightened and turned back down the road to find her partner.

They called 111 and went back to the woman.

Under questioning from Crown prosecutor Brian Dickey, Ms Tolman said there was blood on the road and the woman had "awful" injuries.

"There was a really bad head injury and her arm was twisted around and she had cable ties on her wrists and ankle."

Ms Tolman said she tried talking to the woman, but she was unresponsive.

"I kept talking to her, I kept saying we're here to help and help is on its way and you'll be OK, we're going to help you. But there was no response at all."

Ms Tolman's partner, Stephen Piggot, also told the court about the woman's injuries.

"As we looked we could just see the horrific injuries on her head and the blood," he said.

"There was blood and her head, it looked like it was cracked."

Judith Wilson was one of the first ambulance officers on the scene.

She said the woman was unresponsive and she could only find a faint pulse.

"You could see that there were cuts on her head and the blood. I ran my fingers through her hair to see if there were any other injuries on her head and I noticed a hole on the top of her head, like an open wound."

Forensic pathologist Simon Stables today showed the jury 3D reconstructions of CT scans of the victim's head.

He said she suffered blows to seven different parts of her head and at least two of the fractures indicated she was hit in the same place more than once - mostly likely with a hammer.

Mr Stables said he has dealt with other cases where such injuries were fatal.

The Crown expected to call 60 witnesses during the four-week trial.