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Whangārei assault trial: Man describes feeling half his face ‘gone’ after alleged attack with weapon

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It is alleged Lymon Ormsby yelled “Killer Beez” following the alleged assault on the Whangārei man. Photo / NZME

WARNING: This article discusses graphic violence and may be upsetting to some readers.

Friday night drinks took a dark turn for a man who found himself in a violent altercation with his neighbours, who had turned up uninvited and allegedly left him with a 10cm-long knife wound across his face.

As the alleged attacker yelled out “Killer Beez”, the victim felt half his face drop and realised he’d been sliced with a weapon, a jury has heard.

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Lymon Ormsby is on trial at the Whangārei District Court for one charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and one charge of assault with intent to injure.

As the Crown opened its case on Monday, the jury heard that on the evening of May 6, 2022, Cecil Peterson was having drinks with his cousins at his home on Second Ave, Whangārei after doing the lawns and putting dinner on.

Across the fence, Ormsby and his associates were also having Friday night drinks and decided to invite themselves over to their neighbour’s house.

Crown prosecutor Ally Tupuola said after the two groups socialised for about 30 minutes, Ormsby allegedly talked about starting some fights.

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Peterson told Ormsby that wasn’t going to happen on his property and ushered them out onto the street.

Ormsby is alleged to have then punched Peterson in the face, out of nowhere.

Tupuloa told the court Ormsby came at Peterson again, this time with a weapon, striking him to the right side of his face and leaving a significant wound.

“He administered this second punch with a sharp object that was used to slash Peterson’s face,” Tupuola said.

The severity of the injury became apparent as Peterson’s face bore a slice-like wound extending from under his right ear, along the jawline, up to the corner of his mouth.

Immediately afterward Ormsby allegedly began jumping around shouting “Killer Beez”.

Peterson gave evidence that he did not know any of the neighbours and they were uninvited.

“It looked like he wanted to come over and start something,” Peterson said.

“There was another guy there. I had a disagreement with him … I can’t remember what happened but we ended up walking up on the road and were standing by both of our driveways.

“We were about to fight and then I got a punch from the right side of my shoulder, a punch in the face.

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“He [Ormsby] bounced back and I didn’t think nothing about it, but then he came again and I felt half my face, my jaw drop,” Peterson said.

When Peterson was asked to explain what he meant by half his face drop, he said he put his hand to his face and “it was just gone”.

The trial before Justice Taryn Bayley is expected to last three days.

Shannon Pitman is a Whangārei based reporter for Open Justice covering courts in the Te Tai Tokerau region. She is of Ngāpuhi/ Ngāti Pūkenga descent and has worked in digital media for the past five years. She joined NZME in 2023.

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