A man accused of 19 sex and violence charges against his travelling companion has given evidence that the couple had “a normal, consensual” sexual relationship.
The trial of the 45-year-old man has been going for seven days, and after the Crown finished presentation of its case involving evidence from 21 witnesses, the defence has begun its case.
Crown is alleging that the man raped a woman five times, tied her up, sexually violated her with a knife and saw handle, and assaulted her nine times.
The woman – a visitor to New Zealand – spent days giving evidence about repeated incidents with the man as they travelled around the country, sometimes freedom camping in a van or doing casual work. They were together about 11 months in 2014-15.
Defence counsel Serina Bailey said the man would be called to give evidence and would tell Christchurch District Court Judge Gary MacAskill and the jury that he had never raped or sexually abused the woman, never strangled her, although he would admit that they sometimes had “heated and nasty” arguments.
The man told the court he was a Jehovah’s Witness and brought his own Bible to take his oath as a witness.
He told of the couple meeting at an Auckland beach when he was fishing with friends. He denied that during the relationship he had violated her with a knife or saw handle, or threatened to kill her.
The couple had “normal, consensual sex” three or four times a week during the relationship, he said.
He denied raping her. “Never, not once,” he said in evidence. “It was always consensual sex that we had.”
The man’s name is not suppressed, but he cannot be identified without revealing the identity of the alleged victim who has automatic suppression.
The trial is expected to end next week.