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Businessman admits murder attempt

Published: 11:50PM Thursday November 12, 2009 Source: NZPA

  •  (Source: ONE News)
    Source: ONE News

An Auckland businessman has admitted attacking his ex-business partner with a knife and shooting his girlfriend, leaving her with life-threatening injuries.

Martin Victor Lyttelton pleaded guilty to three charges in the High Court at Auckland after a judge ruled he was mentally fit to stand trial.

He admitted attempting to murder his former business partner Richard Ord, causing grievous bodily harm with intent to injure to Ord's partner Colleen Fenton, and the aggravated burglary of their home.

The police summary of facts said Lyttelton and Ord had been business partners but their relationship soured about 10 years ago and they had been the subjects of ongoing court proceedings.

Lyttelton drove to Ord and Fenton's home in Browns Bay on Auckland's North Shore on April 10 last year armed with a shotgun, six rounds of ammunition and a skinning knife.

Lyttelton first tried to force his way through the door of their home before firing a round from the shotgun into the door, hitting Ms Fenton in the thigh.

She suffered life-threatening injuries due to an artery being severed and losing a lot of blood. She subsequently required emergency surgery.

As Lyttelton was reloading his shotgun, Ord released his grip on the door handle, allowing Lyttelton entry to the room.

Ord then grabbed Lyttelton and the pair struggled with the firearm, during which time Ord discovered the gun was empty of ammunition.

Ord subsequently pinned Lyttelton against a door frame, at which point the gun was discarded.

Lyttelton then pulled a knife from his trouser pocket and tried to stab Ord, causing cuts to his hands.

Eventually the struggle subsided and Ord persuaded Lyttelton to relinquish the knife.

Lyttelton, a 51-year-old from Remuera, was the former managing director of Calan Healthcare Property Trust.

Justice Douglas Wylie said three separate mental health professionals had concluded Lyttelton was mentally fit to stand trial.

He said there was evidence he had issues with depression but that he was responding well to treatment and medication and was fit enough under the legislation to stand trial.

Once that judgment was made, Lyttelton pleaded guilty to all three charges.

Lyttelton will be sentenced next month, or early in 2010.

A further mental health assessment and a pre-sentence report will be put together before sentencing, and lawyers indicated there may be a need for a disputed facts hearing before sentencing.