© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Ex-partner pleads not guilty to charges of assault

Jessica Swan

A man charged with three incidents of assault, impeding breathing and wilfull damage has pleaded not guilty at the Christchurch District Court this morning.

John Malcolm Borlase has been accused by his ex-partner of attacking her after she refused to let him drive her car drunk on July 7 last year.

Borlase has denied all charges including an allegation he attempted to strangle her with her own seatbelt and a separate charge relating to the complainant breaking her wrist last January.

The woman was tearful when giving her account in court, particularly when addressing photographic evidence of the assault.

"The man that I loved and was meant to love me and protect me… almost killed me. And if I didn't fight back, I wouldn't be here."

She said Borlase became angry after she refused to let him drive her car drunk to town after a birthday party both attended. When she blocked him from taking the keys, he became aggressive and abusive.

She gave details of the assault stating he had pulled her hair out, broken the side mirror on her car and told her that "no one will hear you" as she screamed and defended herself.

Borlase maintained his innocence saying while there was aggression from both parties, he was not violent.

"We were both involved in what has happened with both of us," he said.

He denied any intent to strangle or kill the complainant.

"It was frustration and the both of us (were) being stubborn… alcohol was involved. Emotion was involved and it should never have got to that place," Borlase said.

When asked if his ex-partner's bruising the next day was a coincidence he replied: "It's not…in the car we both got very animated at each other."

The trial is expected to finish Tuesday.