A man accused of an eye-gouging attack says he did not do it and the real attacker is too scary to name.
Jordan Patrick Isle, now of Belfast, refused to say who attacker was as he gave evidence in his defence on the second day of his trial in the Christchurch District Court.
“I don’t want to end up like [the victim],” he told Judge Jane Farish and a jury.
The victim of the August 10 attack gave evidence yesterday of losing his right eye when he was eye gouged during a day-time attack as he lay in bed at his home in Oxford.
He identified 23-year-old Isle as the attacker, but also will not say who another man was who he saw at a car parked outside his house.
Isle said he would not name the two people who he believed really had carried out the attack. He had been in text contact with them, and had arranged for them to pick him up on the way to the attack, but they had not arrived, he said.
“I don’t want to name them for the same reason [the victim] doesn’t want to name these people,” he said during cross-examination.
Isle was the only defence witness called. He claims he was not the attacker. He said he had arrived home that morning after being up for two days, and went to bed before 6am. When he got up he played a Zombies computer game while hungover at home. He went out briefly to buy a sports drink at the supermarket in Rangiora.
The trial was hearing closing addresses by Crown prosecutor Arpana Raj and defence counsel Tim Twomey this afternoon, and Judge Jane Farish was expected to sum up for the jury on Friday morning.
Isle, a bricklayer, denies charges of assault with intent to injure and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to the 44-year-old victim. Mr Twomey says the defence is that Isle was not present, and it was someone else who caused the injuries.
A consultant opthalmologist, Dr Rebecca Stark, told of treating the victim for his eye injuries after the attack. The eyeball had split. The lens was missing and could not be found and the jelly had spilled out. The entire retina had detached, and it was eventually decided that there was no chance the eye could be saved.
Isle said in evidence that the attack victim kept demanding money that he said he owed him after staying on his property in a house bus. He denied that he claimed that the victim owed him money for cannabis the victim had sold.
On the day of the attack, he had received text messages saying that a group was going to “roll” the victim – take his money and drugs – and he had asked them to pick him up for that. They had arranged to pick him up in about 30 minutes, but he had been so engrossed in playing the computer game he had not done anything about it when they did not show up at his home in Rangiora.
“I was fixed on killing zombies with my mate,” he told the court.
He had offered to “roll” the victim because he was angry with him because of threats the man had made to his mother, children, and partner. He knew the man had a rape conviction.
But he said he had no intention to hurt him, just to take his drugs off him so that he would have to “go through a horrible detox as meth users do, and he would not be able to distribute meth back into the community anymore”.
Cross-examined by Miss Raj, Isle agreed that if the car had picked him up and taken him to Oxford as planned, the timing would have been about right for the 2pm attack. A passer-by found the injured man by the road after he escaped from the house and made a 111 call at 2.19pm.
Miss Raj said Isle would have been back in Rangiora in time to visit a supermarket where he was seen on camera at 2.50pm, buying a sports drink. The police checked receipts and established that his partner had gone to the supermarket and bought one of these drinks earlier in the day, but Isle said he did not like that flavour and went to the supermarket himself to get the one he wanted.
He was cross-examined in detail about what was meant in the text messages that the police have put before the jury.
He said he had been angry with the victim and had wanted to take away his drugs in the daytime raid. “I regretted I wasn’t there to be the one to do it,” he told the court.