Two men accused of violent beach attack

5:42 pm on 28 November 2017

Two Bay of Plenty men are accused of a number of violent offences at a coastal Opotiki area, including a machete attack.

Court

Photo: Photo NZ

Wayne Matchitt, 51, and Colin Tutbury, 66, are standing trial in the High Court at Tauranga in relation to 10 charges which allegedly occurred at Opape beach, about 15km from Opotiki, on 22 November last year, SunLive reported.

Mr Matchitt faces charges of assault with intent to injure, two counts of threatening behaviour, common assault and threatening to kill.

Mr Tutbury faces charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, threatening to kill, common assault, assault with intent to injure and two counts of making threats.

Both men have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Crown prosecutor Hayley Sheridan opened the Crown's case yesterday morning by telling the jury about an approach made by the accused on two fishers, which acted as a catalyst to a number of other violence offences.

She said Matchitt and Tutbury accused the couple of trespass, desecrating the beach and made demands to see their catch.

"The interaction led to a number of acts of physical and verbal abuse, including the complainants being shoved, threatened with violence and victim to a number of racial slurs, on the basis that they were trespassers 'desecrating private whenua,'" the prosecutor said.

According to the Crown, a number of local residents, who witnessed the altercation on the beach, also became involved with one woman being physically assaulted, harassed and threatened with rape.

Upon hearing about the incident, this woman's father also approached the accused, armed with a metal pole and was injured by a machete during the altercation, the court was told.

Mr Tutbury's defence lawyer Gene Tomlinson told a jury of four men and eight women the future of his client was now in their hands.

He said the matter was a case of "what happened, who said what and why".

In the matter of the machete attack, Mr Matchitt's defence lawyer Steve Franklin said his client's actions were a form of self-defence.

The trial continues this week with Judge Christopher Harding presiding.

- SunLive