A Napier man fractured his partner's skull when he hit her with a spade, then left her lying in a pool of blood after an argument, a court has heard.
A jury trial for Andrew Tauira Whatarau began yesterday at the Napier District Court in which he is defending a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
The incident occurred in the early hours of April 22, 2012 at Whatarau's residence in Maraenui after the two had attended a party at a friend's house.
His partner at the time was taken to hospital with injuries that included a 6-centimetre wound to the back of her head, a fractured skull and bleeding around the brain, crown prosecutor Nicola Graham told the court.
She returned to the house after leaving the party separately from Whatarau.
When questioned by Mrs Graham, the woman said she returned to the house calm after the two argued at the party.
But she returned to find herself locked out and then proceeded to smash several windows.
It was after this that Whatarau is said to have hit her with the garden spade.
"He ran outside and hit her in the head with it," Mrs Graham told the jury in her opening address. "Afterwards he then went back inside ... he left her, literally, lying in a pool of blood." She said his response was definitely not reasonable given the circumstances.
"All I remember was waking up at the hospital," the woman said on the stand yesterday. "I was told that I suffered a severe blow to the back of my head."
Whatarau's defence lawyer Scott Jefferson asked her if she had picked on Whatarau at the party earlier that night.
He also asked her if she had arrived home in a "jealous rage", and suggested she had tried to run at Whatarau with a stick at the property not long before she suffered the head injuries.
It was when she was trying to hit Whatarau with the stick that he used the spade to protect himself and it was then when he struck her with it, Mr Jefferson said.
Mr Jefferson said a neighbour's police statement described Whatarau as retreating away from her during the incident.
Her account of the night was "completely" at odds with the neighbour's, he said.
The trial is expected to continue today.