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.