A burglary took a tragic turn after a grandmother died when her dialysis valve was dislodged as her family fought with a man who had broken into their home.
Shortly before midnight on 1 June, 2023, Terrance Lowe Kiro ventured 136m down the road from his home in Kaikohe, and arrived at the address of Linda Woods, who he did not know.
The 52-year-old grabbed a plastic chair from Woods' backyard, placed it underneath an unlocked window and removed his shoes, according to the summary of facts.
Inside, Woods had a number of family members staying with her as she needed assistance while receiving dialysis treatment for a medical condition.
Kiro jumped through the window and began walking through the house.
Shortly after, one of Woods' daughters noticed the open window and looked outside and saw the plastic chair had been moved.
As she closed the window, she spotted Kiro crouched in the corner of the room in a "heads down tails up" position.
Alarmed, she confronted him and physically tried to stop him from leaving the house.
Woods and her other daughter heard the commotion and went into the hallway to see what was going on.
They, too, began trying to stop Kiro from leaving the property.
As the struggle between the three women and Kiro continued, he lost his shorts. Woods then placed herself between the door and the burglar, with her arms extended to create a physical barrier.
One of her daughters had Kiro by the leg and, at some point, Wood's dialysis valve was ripped from her portal, resulting in severe blood loss from a major vein.
She died at the scene.
Kiro, who did not say a word during the entire incident, fled the house and went back to his home.
Semen on Kiro's shorts and a fingerprint later placed him at the scene and he was charged with the manslaughter of Woods, and two counts of aggravated assault.
In June he pleaded not guilty to the charges but appeared in the High Court at Whangārei on Monday, where he admitted all charges.
The public gallery was filled with Woods' family and friends, many of whom were emotional.
Kiro indicated through his lawyer Catherine Cull KC that he would like to offer the opportunity to do restorative justice with the family of Woods.
He will be sentenced at a later date in 2024 still to be scheduled.
- This story was originally published by the NZ Herald.