73 bruises and strangling in 3-hour assault

Justin Matthew McAllister

A woman was left with 73 bruises after a three-hour assault by Justin Matthew McAllister that included strangling her unconscious with a rope.

The 40-year-old (pictured) pleaded guilty in the Christchurch District Court today to charges of injuring the woman with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and breaching a protection order the woman took out after the assault.

Judge Jane Farish remanded McAllister in custody for sentencing on July 4. She asked for a pre-sentence report, and referred the case for a possible restorative justice meeting where he would meet the woman if she is willing, and apologise to her.

The Crown said McAllister and the victim knew each other.

About two hours before she came to his house in St Albans on June 6, 2017, McAllister was recorded on his own security camera cutting a length of white rope. He burned the ends of the rope and placed it in his pocket.

Crown prosecutor Claire Boshier said that soon after the woman arrived, about 8.30pm, McAllister struck her on the right temple and kicked her on the hip while she was on the floor.

While she crawled to a couch, he jumped onto her back by driving his knees into her, and then pushed her head into the floor.

He pushed her face down into a pillow and slapped and punched her to the head.

When he looked through her phone, he became upset because she had told a friend that he had previously hit her. He punched her in the stomach and head, causing her to fall again, this time onto a table.

This part of the three-hour assault was recorded on camera, but the pair then went out of view. Even so, there is a view of McAllister kicking.

He then took the rope out of his pocket and tied it around the victim’s neck. He used the rope to pull her off the couch and onto her hands and knees. The woman put her hand into the rope to make space to breathe.

He told her that every time he thought she was lying he would tighten the rope. He tightened it six to seven times until it was so tight that she could not breathe and passed out.

When she regained consciousness, the beating continued, with McAllister telling her she deserved it. He covered her mouth and nose with his hands until she passed out again.

The pair come back into the camera’s view at 11.14pm, when McAllister drags her and appears to smother her face with a jacket. He then stands over her and kicks her. At 11.35am, a white rope is seen thrown into view while the pair are out of shot.

He then made her drive him to see some people, but found a message from a friend on her phone which led to more punches.

He made her drop him home and told her that she had half an hour to collect her suitcase from a friend’s house. When the friend saw her injuries, she told her she could stay.

McAllister sent the victim a threatening video message about her family a few days later and sent her a letter after that – in breach of the protection order she took out against him.

Miss Boshier said that after the assault the victim had swelling to her hands, feet, and arms, and a doctor counted 73 bruises. She had a broken rib.

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