Victim tells of fright in Wodonga knife attack

A WEST Wodonga woman yesterday told of her fear shortly before another woman allegedly tried to rob her with a butter or dinner knife.

Rachel McDonald said she was “very scared” when Gemma Narelle Milham arrived outside her house after earlier falsely accusing her of sleeping with her partner.

“I couldn’t look her in the eye, I just kept looking around because I knew a lot of people in the (street) and there was no one there,” she said.

Ms McDonald was the first and only witness yesterday at the County Court trial in Wodonga of Milham, who has pleaded not guilty to attempted armed robbery.

Milham, of Wodonga, has pleaded guilty to the assault of Ms McDonald.

Ms McDonald told Crown prosecutor Tom Lynch she ran into Milham in a central Wodonga laneway on the morning of December 7, 2012.

She did not realise Milham was with her partner, Daniel Wiesner, until she heard him tell the accused to “shut up” over claims the pair were meeting up.

Ms McDonald told the court she had met Milham a few times before, the first time a couple of months earlier when the accused knocked on Ms McDonald’s front door.

She said she reluctantly let Milham in.

Milham told her she thought her defacto was having an affair but did not know the woman’s name.

On the day of the alleged offences, Ms McDonald said she had not long arrived at her Horsfall Court home by bus when Milham and Mr Wiesner drove past and stopped two doors from her house.

Milham got out and accused Ms McDonald of having a sexual relationship with Mr Wiesner.

Asked if she said anything, Ms McDonald replied: “No. I was trying to be submissive. I didn’t want a confrontation.

“I didn’t know what she was going to do, I didn’t know what this male was going to do.”

Ms McDonald said contrary to Milham’s accusations, she had never seen Mr Wiesner before that day.

The attack happened, she said, after she reached down to pick up her shopping bags, which were left next to her letterbox.

Ms McDonald said Milham pulled down her baggy T-shirt, then “reached in and pulled out a knife and went at me”.

She described to the court how Milham allegedly swung at her with the knife, striking her in the upper left chest area near her collarbone and also hitting her with her other hand.

Milham allegedly reach- ed into Ms McDonald’s bag with her left hand, pulling out her pension card, a $10 note and her mobile phone, which spill- ed to the ground during the struggle.

Ms McDonald repeated several times Milham told her she would steal her purse.

But defence barrister Alan Marshall put to Ms McDonald she made up the story about the knife to shore up her story.

He said Milham did not land any blows on Ms McDonald, but there was simply a push.

The trial before Judge Roy Punshon will resume on Monday at 12.30pm.

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