Cop basher in high court

A 37-year-old man from Otara who punched, kicked and stomped on a police officer’s head last year has pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm, the High Court in Auckland has heard.

Walter Geroge Tau’atevalu has pleaded not guilty to his charge of attempted murder.

Sergeant Simon Tate was left with facial fractures and a throat injury and has no memory of the assault after he was bashed by Tau’atevalu last year. He has just recently returned to full time work with the police.

Crown prosecutor Robin McCoubrey said a witness saw Tau’atevalu continued to attack and keep kicking Sgt Tate as he lay on the ground.

He suffered a brain bleed, head injuries, and broken bones on his face and throat from several blows.

The jury of nine women and three men will decide if Tau’atevalu is guilty of attempted murder.

But the defence councel Graeme Newell told the jury Tau’atevalu could only be found guilty if the prosecution proved he had intended to kill.

The court was told police were called after Tauatevalu became angry at his wife during an Otara Scorpions rugby league club function at the Manukau Velodrome before they left.

The officer followed their car and stopped it in Sandrine Ave in Manukau. Tate got off and went to speak with the passenger and it was then that he was attacked by Tau’atevalu who had got out of the vehicle.

Newell  told the jury the event happened very quickly and in the dark. He said this would cast doubt on the accuracy of the witness’ evidence.

The trial continues.

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