Accused attacker Nathan "Red" Riley disputes facts in Supreme Court

An alleged assailant has admitted to punching and kicking his victim, but denied threatening him with a blow torch and attacking him with a claw hammer during a disputed facts hearing in the Launceston Supreme Court.

The complainant took to the witness stand on Thursday to give evidence against his accused attacker, Ravenswood’s Nathan “Red” Riley.

The allegations against Riley include a series of assaults in 2015.

He is accused of punching his victim, kicking him, biting him, gouging his eyes, standing on his throat and choking him, striking him with a wooden pole, striking him with a claw hammer and threatening him with a blow torch in various locations at Ravenswood on January 8 that year.

Defence lawyer Greg Barns told the court on Thursday that his client agreed with the allegations of punching and kicking the victim during the alleged assaults, but disputed the rest.

During the hearing, the victim said the assaults were in relation to a sum of money he had stolen during a burglary.

He claimed Riley was demanding the money and assaulted him after he said he didn’t have it.

The assaults allegedly took place in the bedroom of a Ravenswood home and inside a car, with the victim claiming he had been “dragged up” to the room, assaulted for “about an hour or two”, then driven in the car “at least two times”. 

At one point in the car, the victim told the courts Riley threatened his life telling him it was his “last chance to come clean” or he was “going missing”.

Cross-examining the witness, Mr Barns interrogated him about his drug use on the day of the alleged attacks.

The complainant admitted to using ice on the day and to having “poor memory” as a result of his ongoing drug use.

Mr Barns suggested he was “making up” some of the evidence and Mr Riley had punched and kicked him in the bedroom and punched him in the car, but had “no involvement” in any other assault on that day.

The victim did not initially report the matter to police and did not go to hospital for treatment.

It was not until he was arrested later that month over burglary charges that he spoke with a prison doctor about his injuries and eventually spoke to police about the assault in April, about four months after the incidents. 

The matter was adjourned until July 27.

Riley remains in custody.