Oamaru attempted murder case: Manu Hausia admits frenzied stabbing attack witnessed by children

Two children woken by screams in the night got up and saw a man stabbing their blood-soaked mother in a frenzied attack.

It was only “sheer luck” that Manu Hausia’s victim didn’t die, a court heard today, with stabs from a kitchen knife, and also scissors, only missing vital organs by millimetres.

Details of the harrowing case were revealed at the High Court in Christchurch this afternoon after Hausia admitted his brutal September 2 assault.

The 28-year-old Tonga national, who is currently in New Zealand on an interim visitor visa, will be sentenced in February, after pleading guilty to four charges, including attempted murder, injuring with intent, and assaulting a child.

The summary of facts was read to the court, and to Hausia via a Tongan interpreter.

The first victim was a solo mum with five children who met Hausia at a rugby game in Auckland at the start of the year.

They began a relationship and started living together a short time later in Oamaru.

At about midnight on June 19, Hausia was at their place in Oamaru waiting for the victim to return home from church.

When she got home, the court heard, he confronted her, requesting to see her phone.

While he was checking her phone, she went to take a shower.

But when she came out and laid down on her bed, Hausia attacked.

He punched her in the head with full force, causing her to scream and raise her arms up in defence.

As she lay there, he continued to rain punches down on her head and body, causing her to lose consciousness.

The woman’s 1-year-old son was 2m from the bed and started crying, distracting Hausia from the assault.

She regained consciousness and crawled into her 11-year-old son’s bedroom where she blacked out again.

The summary says that he was still angry as he followed her.

The young boy tried to stop the assault on his mother and phoned the police.

Hausia fled the property and was later found in Ashburton.

The victim was admitted to Oamaru hospital, suffering severe swelling to her face, upper body, arms, bleeding from her ears, and concussion.

When police spoke to him, Hausia admitted punching her numerous times as there had been a “misunderstanding”.

On June 19, he was charged with injures with intent to injure and was released to an Ashburton address on strict bail conditions, including not to contact the victim or travel south of the Waitaki River.

At the beginning of August, he returned to Oamaru to live with the victim and her children, in breach of his court bail conditions, the court heard today.

At approximately 3.50am on September 2, after a prolonged drinking session, he became argumentative with the first victim.

She’d had enough of his behaviour and asked him to leave, calling 111.

As the first victim stood in her house calmly speaking to 111 call taker, he grabbed her around neck in a stranglehold and using both a kitchen knife and scissors stabbed her around the head and body.

While he continued his attack, he put both his hands around her neck and put his thumbs into her neck so she couldn’t breathe.

He told her in Tongan that it would be the last time anyone would ever see her and that he would be the last person on Earth that she would ever see.

She fought back and “began screaming in terror” while he repeatedly stabbed her in the back, arms, face, head, shoulders, and upper body.

Hausia used so much force that the scissors broke in half. Emergency services would later find them in her tangled hair.

Her screams woke up her cousin who happened to be staying the night – as well as two children who got up and saw Hausia repeatedly stabbing their mother while she screamed for help, covered in blood.

As the cousin tried to push him away, Hausia turned and lunged at her with either the knife or scissors, stabbing her in the leg and slashing a cut across her face.

When the 11-year-old child also tried to stop the attack, Hausia punched him in the face.

The cousin grabbed both children and pulled them into a hallway and shut the door.

Eventually, Hausia stopped his attack and fled, dropping the blood-drenched knife on the lawn.

Both victims were taken to Oamaru Hospital – before the first victim was transported to Dunedin Hospital for surgery.

Hausia handed himself in to police about seven hours later.

The first victim suffered horrendous injuries, including nine stab wounds to the back, other stab wounds to the arm, shoulder, face, back of the head, and hand, as well as extensive bruising, significant blood loss, and damage to her saliva glands which hinders her ability to swallow, talk and eat, requiring further surgery,

Crown prosecutor Helen Bennett said that it only “sheer luck” that none of her injuries were life-threatening, missing vital organs by millimetres.

The second victim suffered deep stab wounds to her thigh and a slash wound to her cheek.

Hausia, who has no previous convictions, declined to be interviewed by police and gave no explanation for his actions.

The first victim, in particular, is “extremely fearful of him”, the court heard, and she seeks a protection order.

Justice Cameron Mander remanded Hausia in custody to be sentenced on February 10.

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