A man was left with a fractured skull after being repeatedly hit in the head with a hammer when a dispute with his neighbour turned violent.
On Thursday, Dallas Roy Rangi pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon after being charged in relation to the September 25 attack.
Rangi and his victim were known to each other as the defendant’s partner lived next door to the 23-year-old man and his girlfriend on Nevada Dr in New Plymouth.
The summary of facts stated there had been “ongoing” issues between the two couples, including allegations that property had been taken from Rangi’s partner by her neighbours.
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Prior to the attack, Rangi was at his partner’s home. During the day, the woman had asked the victim to return her phone which she had previously lent him.
She made another attempt later in the evening to get the phone back and not long afterwards, Rangi and his partner heard something being thrown against the flat’s exterior wall.
Rangi went outside to investigate and a verbal argument began between him and the victim. During the altercation, the victim pulled out a knife and threatened the defendant.
Rangi then picked up a hammer which was lying on the deck outside the flat. He then swung the weapon at the victim, striking him two to three times in the left temple area.
The force of the blows knocked the victim over and he was left bleeding heavily from the head wound.
After initially being taken to Taranaki Base Hospital, the victim was transported to Wellington for specialist treatment for the skull fracture.
The 37-year-old was initially charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, but this was downgraded prior to Rangi’s plea being entered during his appearance in the New Plymouth District Court.
He will re-appear in court on July 21 for sentencing.