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September 17, 2004

Flatmates tell of beating request

From: Manawatu Standard, New Zealand - Sep 17, 2004


No sooner had Tamamutu Robin Kimura been granted police bail, than he went home and got his flatmates to beat him up.

Kimura, a 41-year-old Foxton beneficiary, appeared in Palmerston North District Court yesterday charged with wilfully attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Police allege Kimura, after his arrest on September 20 last year, asked his flatmates to give him the bash so he could fabricate a claim of police brutality.

Foxton Constable Johnny Galvin had gone to Kimura's home to discuss a matter with him. In the course of the conversation, Mr Galvin arrested Kimura.

But as he escorted the "agitated, emotional and irrational" Kimura to his police car, the accused allegedly threw himself to the ground and began shouting at Mr Galvin - an Irishman - to "stop hitting me, you Pommie bastard".

Then, as he lay writhing on the ground, Kimura managed to swallow his false teeth.

Mr Galvin had to manually extract the dentures, which were lodged in his windpipe.

Later, after being given police bail, Kimura went home and asked his flatmates to lie in court about what the police had done. To back the story, he got them to assault him.

The court heard from a 21-year-old deaf woman who had shared Kimura's home at the time. Through an interpreter, she told the court Kimura had come in to her bedroom and asked her and her partner to punch him on the arm.

She initially refused, but later relented. Police allege that Kimura then asked her partner to punch him.

"So he did it, and he did it a lot," the woman said.

The two men then put a book against the side of Kimura's face and hit it a number of times. The woman's partner also punched Kimura in the eye and, at his insistence, stomped on Kimura's arm.

At one point, Kimura repeatedly kicked a doorframe with his knee "to make it more sore", the woman told the court.

Kimura was arrested a couple of days later on another matter, and at the time attempted to lodge a complaint against Mr Galvin.

Police rejected the complaint, and Kimura was locked up in a Levin police cell. He had been complaining vociferously of pain in his wrists, the court was told, and on a number of occasions appeared to be in agony.

However, through closed-circuit television, Kimura was seen to flick out his police-issue cell blanket, as if he suffered no pain at all.

He was later observed doing a number of leg-stretching manoeuvres in his cell.

Mr Galvin was asked if he had ever issued Kimura with tickets for riding his bicycle on the footpath.

He said he had, many times. He had also issued tickets to Kimura for not wearing his bicycle helmet.

The trial, presided over by Judge Les Atkins, is expected to finish today.

© Fairfax New Zealand Limited 2004.