Newton hearing held to examine alleged assault

The Magistrates Court. (38181998)

A WOMAN wept in court as she alleged that a man slapped her in the face and pulled her hair.

She was giving evidence in a Newton hearing being held before the sentencing of 22-year-old Joao Rodrigues.

A Newton hearing takes place when the defendant has admitted an offence, but has pleaded guilty to a different version of facts from those alleged by prosecution.

Rodrigues previously admitted that he shoved the woman by her shoulders and damaged her phone, but he denies that he slapped her and pulled her hair.

When questioned by legal adviser Francis Burak, prosecuting, the woman, who gave evidence from behind a screen in the Magistrate’s Court, said that the incidents took place on the morning of 16 February, as she was about to go to work.

She sobbed as she related: “He pushed me with his two hands on either shoulder. He was shouting, calling me ‘a slut’ and ‘dirty’.

“I had my hair down and he grabbed it and pulled it. I just said: ‘Don’t pull my hair.’

“I walked away. That’s when he slapped me.”

She added: “He pulled my phone out of the charger and was stomping on it with his feet.

“When he picked it up off the floor he tried to break it with his hands.”

The woman said she had suffered from anxiety as a result and was taking medication for it.

Advocate Heidi Heath, defending, asked her: “Do you blame Mr Rodrigues for that? You are out to get him, aren’t you? You have an axe to grind. You are seeking revenge.”

She replied: “It’s not revenge. It’s justice.”

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