In this photograph, Dame Augusta Wallace shows the scar left by a courtroom machete attack in May 1990. New Zealanders were shocked when she was nearly killed by a teenager appearing before her at the Ōtāhuhu Children and Young Persons Court. She suffered deep lacerations to the face, ear and neck, and her jaw was broken. The police prosecutor, Sergeant Murray Whitmore, came to her defence, but the incident raised awareness that the low level of security in courts posed dangers for judges.
Interviewed shortly after the attack, Dame Augusta reflects on the experience and how it has changed her approach to cases of assault.
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Reference: RNZ collection, 6447
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Image: New Zealand Woman's Weekly, 2 June 1990 p8.