Trial hears of alleged reprisal over bad drugs

March 8, 2017 | By More

A woman denies holding a taser to a drug dealer’s face in what the Crown alleges was a reprisal for a drug deal gone wrong.

The Crown says Ursula Addie Case, 33, used Facebook and recognised the dealer from a week before, when she was sold $300 worth of methamphetamine that turned out to be rock salt.

Police say she set up a meeting with her victim to buy more drugs, and with two co-offenders, detained the woman until her boyfriend could turn up with the money.

Case is on trial in the Christchurch District Court on a charge of assault with intent to rob.

When questioned by Crown prosecutor Donald Matthews, the victim told the judge-alone trial that on December 4, 2015, she went to a house in Armagh Street Christchurch.

Her boyfriend stayed in the car outside, while she showed Case the methamphetamine she had brought to sell. Two other people came into the room and started verbally abusing her, and threatening her.

She said one co-offender took her phone, while Case took a taser, and was flicking it off and on against her face, and then punched her.

They told her they were going to pimp her on Manchester Street and get the money back that way, and she thought she was going to be raped and killed, she said. “I was freaking out, and they thought it was hilarious”.

She received a mark above her eyebrow and a cut in the assault.

Defence counsel for Case, Serina Bailey, told the victim that Case was suspicious when shown the plastic bag of methamphetamine and didn’t trust what it was supposed to be, which made everyone angrier.

When told by Ms Bailey that a co-offender had hit her, and had admitted it, the victim said it was Case who was holding the taser and coming at her, and she could hear it zapping close to her face.

The boyfriend told the court he phoned the police when another co-offender had approached him in the car and told him if he didn’t come back with the money his girlfriend was going to get it.

He said they kept phoning him, and the police were present when he answered one call demanding $300.

Casey Marie Chamberlain, a 22-year-old who has since been sentenced to prison on the same charge, said the three of them were going to confront the victim, frighten her, and demand their money back.

She told Judge Bernadette Farnan that it was she who punched the victim in the face, but it was Case who had the taser, turned it on, and held it towards the woman to scare her.

She said they had discussed using the taser, that Case had only just bought it, and was going to give it a try to see how it went.

The taser was found in a backpack in her Chamberlain’s wardrobe, but she said Case had hidden the bag from the police there because it had drug paraphernalia in it.

In her police interview, Case denied threatening the woman, or menacing her with a taser.

She said in evidence that she had planned to buy drugs from the woman, and had arranged for her to come around, but she did not know anything about the Crown witness’ allegations that it was a chance to get back at the woman for a drug deal that had gone wrong the week before.

“I didn’t know they had dealt with her before,” said Case. She did not know anything about the taser, and had not seen one, but she acknowledged there had been yelling and abuse at the meeting.

“I switch off when there’s yelling,” she said.

Judge Farnan will give her verdict this afternoon.

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