The woman had been savagely beaten, strangled, held at knifepoint, dragged by her hair, and even threatened with an ax by her former partner.
Trigger Warning: This story contains details of abuse that may be disturbing to some readers.
A woman, who was continuously subjected to vicious physical abuse, decided to play dead when she could no longer take the violence. For months, the woman had been savagely beaten, strangled, held at knifepoint, dragged by her hair, and even threatened with an ax by her former partner 33-year-old Thomas Huata.
The assault first began at her Napier home in June 2019 when Huata lost his temper after seeing a picture of her with a former partner. His immediate reaction was to punch the helpless mother of three in the side of her head. When the frightened woman attempted to escape the violence, the man ruthlessly dragged her by the hair and continued striking her.
The intensity of the beating was such that the woman's head bounced off the floor and walls after being hit really hard, she recalled. The assault continued for hours, according to stuff.co.nz. The following day, she visited a doctor to get her injuries checked. During the check-up, she lied about her wounds being a result of a nasty fall down the stairs as she was scared of what Huata would do if the cops were alerted about the matter.
She hoped and prayed for the violence to never happen again, but to her dismay, her former partner punched her in the ribs just ten days later. The assault finally came to an end one September evening, when the woman pretended to be unconscious or dead just so she could escape her abuser. That day, Huata arrived at her doorstep and began banging it loudly, while yelling derogatory terms.
Afraid that he would break down the door, the woman unlocked her home and let him in. As soon as Huata entered the premises, he began punching her in the head. Things escalated quickly from there as he grabbed a large knife from the kitchen, stuck the blade behind her back, and walked her out to her car. After talking to him calmly, she managed to talk Huata into lowering the blade, at which point she began screaming for help.
An enraged Huata retaliated by dragging her inside the house but the woman was not ready to go down without a fight as she held on to a pole just outside her home. Unfortunately, he overpowered her and pulled her away from it. Now that the two were inside, Huata began cruelly kicking the woman's head and legs. He even went as far as to grabbing a splitting ax from the fireplace and swinging it at her. As she screamed and tried to dodge the ax, Huata stopped the weapon right in front of her face while laughing.
He then attempted to strangle her and squeezed her neck until she could no longer breathe. When he finally released the chokehold, the woman began vomiting. The woman does not remember what happened next, but only the fact that she was outside, vomiting beside a car. She requested Huata to take her to a hospital, but he just swore at her before kicking the side of her head.
As the woman fell to the ground, she pretended to be unconscious hoping that it would lead Huata to stop his attacks. Thankfully, the plan worked and as soon as he went back inside, she rushed towards a neighbor's house to get help. Cops ultimately arrested Huata, who pleaded guilty to a string of assault charges, threatening to kill and strangulation. Earlier this year, he was sentenced by Judge Geoff Rea in Napier District Court.
This was Huata's second conviction for violence. Previously, he was sentenced to 12 years in jail for his part in a gang shooting that took place in Wairoa. The recent offense unfolded while Huata was on parole. Noting the turbulent life Huata has led, Judge Rea said, "As with so many young men like you who start off with a disadvantage in life, you progressed through the gang culture without any possibility you could avoid that." He added, "Whether you regard that [violence] as the norm or a way to deal with frustrations and arguments, I don’t know."
Although Huata was unremorseful for his actions, the judge noted that he was still entitled to a 20 percent discount for his guilty plea and another 10 percent for the cultural reports. "Presently Mr. Huata, without getting some sort of assistance, you are potentially dangerous to anyone you disagree with," said Judge Rea, who sentenced Huata to one year and 10 months in jail. This new sentence will be added to his existing one.
Cover image source: Getty | Photo by Kittisak Jirasittichai / EyeEm