Bridget Simmonds murder trial: Mother tells of final visit by her daughter and how she came bearing bruises

The mother of a Northland woman said to have been murdered after a prolonged violent assault has spoken of the last time her daughter came to stay – and the injuries she carried.

Carol Callen, mother of Bridget Simmonds, told the High Court at Whangārei that her daughter’s leg was bruised black along its length and she had three fractured ribs just days before she was reported missing.

Simmonds’ body was found at a rural property on Wilson Rd in Parakao, leading to the arrest of her partner Samuel Hamuera Pou.

Pou is accused of punching Simmonds more than 100 times for over an hour after she spilled wine in a hut the couple were living in. The Crown alleges the assault led to her death and took place sometime between February 23, 2019 and March 16, 2019.

Pou is facing one charge of murder while his nephew, Te Koha Samuel Pou, is also on trial on charges of dishonestly using her bank card and helping his uncle avoid arrest.

Callen told the jury about the injuries she saw on Simmonds when she came to visit her in Kerikeri for four days in February 2019.

Simmonds would sometimes catch a bus but would often hitchhike to Kerikeri, Callen said.

Since she was in a lot of pain, Callen said she carried her three big backpacks from the car when they arrived home in Kerikeri.

The next morning after Simmonds had showered and was sitting on a couch, Callen said she saw her daughter’s left leg was blackened from her hip all the way down. Callen said she was worried for Simmonds, who was on blood thinners.

Simmonds told her she had been beaten up again by Samuel Pou and had three fractured ribs and an attempted eye gouge for which she was using an antibiotic cream.

After four days, she told Simmonds she would drop her off in Whangārei on her way to Auckland and she agreed.

On the trip south, she said Simmonds began shuffling around in her seat and became agitated and changed her drop-off location twice before they ended up at Countdown in Regent.

Simmondstold her mother she had a taxi driver friend who would take her anywhere for $10.

That was the last Callen saw her daughter.

Also on the witness stand yesterday was pharmacist Linda Scott of Otaika Pharmacy, which supplied various medication to Simmonds since January 2018.

They included tramadol for pain relief, codeine, diazepam, quetiapine, venlanaxine, zopiclone and clonidine.

Simmonds was quite strict someone else would not pick up her medication, Scott said.

Senior Constable Jo Rouse told the jury she and another police officer from Whangārei were sent to the Otaika Motel and Holiday Park to deal with an assault complaint on the evening of February 14, 2019.

They met Simmonds who had quite a serious eye injury and old and new bruises on her arms, Rouse said. Simmonds told police Samuel Pou had beaten her.

Rouse said arrangements were made for Simmonds to get in touch with the Whangārei Women’s Refuge.

The trial continues.

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