Mentally disabled man abused, court told

  • 07/08/2017
All the offending is alleged to have taken place in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.
All the offending is alleged to have taken place in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. Photo credit: file

The kidnapping of an intellectually impaired man led to many months of physical abuse, a jury's heard.

This included him being tethered to a clothes line, forced to sleep in a shed without lighting or heating, having his eyes gouged, his arm stabbed, his foot struck with a spade and a toe hit with a tomahawk.

The attacks on the man and his squalid living conditions were the basis of the Crown's case in the High Court at Rotorua where Leneith Moeke, 36, and Gene Karauria, 29, went on trial on Monday.

Between them they face 24 charges relating to a 32-year-old man described as having the mental age of a young child and lacking the life skills to function as an adult.

Justice Rebecca Edwards suppressed his name in the interim, pending a further order of the court.

Moeke and Karauria have pleaded not guilty to all charges relating to the handicapped man.

A number of the charges are representative, meaning they happened more than once. They cover a period from October 2015 to February 25 2016.

All the offending is alleged to have taken place in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

Opening the Crown's case prosecutor Hayley Sheridan said the impaired man's family initially weren't worried about him as he tended to wander so they didn't report him missing but when they did and he was traced to the defendants' home police considered he was okay.

Ms Sheridan said when the man's clothing was rolled back his wrists were badly scarred from the restraints he'd been bound with.

In his opening statement for Moeke, Gene Tomlinson told the jury there had been no kidnapping, that the man was free to come and go, although he boarded with Moeke he didn't have actual care of him.

For Karauria, Roger Gowing said she was an innocent person who remains innocent, the allegations against her had been fabricated.

The trial's been set down for three weeks.

NZN