A trial is underway for two Bay of Plenty men accused of a number of violent offences at a coastal Opotiki area, including a machete attack.
Wayne Matchitt, 51, and Colin Tutbury, 66, are standing trial in the High Court at Tauranga in relation to 10 charges which occurred at Opape beach, about 15km from Opotiki, on November 22, 2016.
Wayne Matchitt faces charges of assault with intent to injure, two counts of threatening behaviour, common assault and threatening to kill.
Colin 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 says 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 we trespassers ‘desecrating private whenua,” says Hayley.
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, says Hayley.
Tutbury's defence lawyer Gene Tomlinson told a jury of four men and eight women the future of his client is now in their hands.
He says the matter is a case of “what happened, who said what and why”.
In the matter of the machete attack, Matchitt's defence lawyer Steve Franklin, maintains his clients' actions were a form of self-defence.
The trial continues this week with Judge Christopher Harding presiding.