ACT News

Alleged victim of strangling says goitre caused her neck swelling

A Canberra woman allegedly choked unconscious by her partner says a goitre caused her neck to appear swollen.

But a doctor who examined her days later reported soft tissue damage unrelated to the condition.

The woman's partner, David Christopher Laipato, 27, is on trial in the ACT Supreme Court accused of choking the woman insensible and threatening to kill her in February last year.

He has pleaded not guilty.

The pair had been celebrating a friend's birthday at a Civic apartment when they argued about 2am.

Laipato is accused of pinning the woman to a bed and choking her insensible, while saying the words: "I'm going to kill you".

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The prosecution alleges the woman then vomited and called the police, who arrested Laipato outside the building soon after.

But on Monday, from the witness stand, the alleged victim contradicted the statement she gave to the police.

She told jurors she had invented the allegations because she had been angry that Laipato had been using drugs.

The woman said she had pushed his face several times, and that the only contact he initiated had been to push her away from him before leaving.

She said he had not choked or threatened her.

Under cross-examination on Tuesday, the woman said she had contacted the authorities on several occasions in an unsuccessful bid to withdraw the allegations.

"I tried to fix this mess," she said.

The woman told the court she had taken two sleeping tablets, which when mixed with alcohol had made the night in question unclear and vague.

"[They] made me out of it. I was a mess," she said.

She also told the court she suffered from thyroid  problems, including a goitre, that caused her neck to appear larger.

A doctor, who examined the woman days after the alleged incident, reported soft tissue swelling of the neck.

When asked by defence lawyer, Paul Edmonds, if the goitre could be responsible, the doctor said no.

The trial before Chief Justice Helen Murrell continues on Wednesday.

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