Neigh­bour guilty

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By IAN STEW­ARD

A 62-year-old who as­saulted an­other pen­sioner af­ter years of abus­ing each other has pleaded guilty to griev­ous bod­ily harm.

Les­lie Otto, 73, died in hos­pi­tal last year a few weeks af­ter an al­ter­ca­tion with Emanu Toafiga, 62.

But pathol­o­gists say he would not nor­mally have died from the in­juries caused by the at­tack.

Toafiga pleaded guilty on Wed­nes­day af­ter a charge of man­slaugh­ter was dropped and sub­sti­tuted for a charge of griev­ous bod­ily harm.

The pair were neigh­bours at a block of Water­view pen­sioner flats.

The High Court at Auck­land was told the pair had been neigh­bours for some years but had ‘‘dif­fi­cul­ties’’ with each other.

On April 14, 2012, they both went shop­ping at Pt Chevalier and caught the same bus back to the flats.

Toafiga abused Mr Otto at the bus stop un­til the bus ar­rived.

Later that day Toafiga took some re­cy­cling out to the kerb and as he re­turned home he was con­fronted by Otto who was armed with a crow­bar.

The older man said he was go­ing to kill Toafiga.

He raised the bar to strike but Toafiga grabbed it and punched Mr Otto in the face knock­ing him to the ground.

He struck him with the bar three times on the torso and threat­ened to strike a neigh­bour who in­ter­vened.

A fi­nal blow was de­liv­ered be­fore he threw away the bar.

When po­lice ar­rived Toafiga was stand­ing over Mr Otto yelling abuse at him.

Mr Otto had frac­tured arms and ribs and con- tu­sions from the blows with the crow­bar.

He died in hos­pi­tal on May 2, 2012, from pneu­mo­nia and com­pli­ca­tions aris­ing from the in­juries and Alzheimer’s.

Pathol­o­gists found that al­though the in­juries ‘‘com­pounded’’ his ill­ness they would not nor­mally have led to death by them­selves.

Toafiga has been re­manded in cus­tody and will be sen­tenced on July 23.

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