From Auckland Now story 31st May 2012
An Auckland man tasered twice and eventually shot in the leg by police after he confronted them during a violent domestic dispute has pleaded guilty to six charges relating to the incident. William Smith, 44, appeared in the Manukau District Court yesterday, and pleaded guilty to one charge each of male assaults female, committing a dangerous act with reckless disregard, and possession of an offensive weapon - a knife. He also pleaded guilty to three charges of assault with a weapon. Police documents on the case detail how Smith's volatile confrontation with police began as a domestic dispute in late January.
He was at home drinking wine in his garage when he became angry with his partner and pulled her by her hair. Smith lost his balance trying to do this, and his partner and her two children fled the house while he threw a child's table at her, narrowly missing. The partner returned to the house a short time later, and told Smith to leave. He punched her in the mouth, and then lunged at her, punching her seven or eight times in the head. She managed to escape, and called the police from a neighbour's house. Smith went on an angry rampage through the house, throwing the children's bedding and clothing out the window and smashing up a television with a spade.
Three police officers arrived as Smith threw the television against his garage wall. They called for Smith to come out of the closed garage. He threw the door open and began abusing the officers. They noticed he had armed himself with a knife. The police told Smith to put the weapon down, but he refused and continued yelling threats and abuse at them. The police used pepper spray to get Smith to put the knife down, but it had no effect. Smith grabbed hold of a BBQ LPG gas bottle and smashed the top off it with a spade. Gas plumed into the area, as Smith picked up a lighter and began sparking it towards the gas. Police again tried to pepper spray Smith, but again it didn't work.
As police tried to verbally calm Smith down, he rushed at them from the garage, swinging his spade aggressively. The police twice tried to use a taser on Smith, but were unsuccessful. He retreated back into the garage, throwing a wine bottle at the police as he went, and slammed the door shut. The police officers managed to grab the gas bottle and throw it away to safety, before requesting further police assistance. While they waited, Smith continued to smash items in the garage, and then threw the garage door open again. He rushed at the police officers, swinging the blade of the spade at them. He again refused to put down the spade.
The officers shot Smith in the leg. He was arrested and taken to Middlemore Hospital for treatment. Two investigations into the shooting are underway. One police investigation will be led by Detective Inspector Dave Lynch and another will be conducted by the Independent Police Conduct Authority. Preliminary analysis of video footage confirmed the police version of events and the "courageous actions" of the officers involved, police said. Smith was remanded in custody until his sentencing in late September. He was given a first warning under the three strikes legislation.
Date of Birth
Committing a dangerous act with reckless disregard, assault with a weapon (x3), male assaults female and possession of a knife in Auckland in January 2012
Sentencing to be updated
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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