A man has appeared in the Waitakere District Court facing serious violence charges after an alleged attack at a West Auckland bar.
As the brief hearing neared its end, raw simmering emotions reached boiling point in the packed public gallery of the courtroom.
"F**k you. F**k you," people yelled at the accused.
"Your guy caused it," another yelled back.
Security guards stood in the middle to physically separate the two sides of supporters.
The two groups were ushered out separately.
The accused is facing charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and injuring with intent. Each charge relates to one victim.
The most serious charge carries a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.
The accused was granted interim name suppression by Community Magistrate Leigh Langridge with the expectation it would be argued at the next appearance.
He will appear in the Auckland District Court tomorrow seeking bail.
Meanwhile, a 28-year-old victim is still critical but stable with family staying at his hospital bedside.
Surgeons had earlier removed half of his skull to relieve pressure on his brain after the alleged altercation at The Mates Bar on Friday.
The man works as a roofer and had been in the Kumeu area for a job last week.
Yesterday, his mother-in-law spoke to the Herald about the "heartbreaking" situation.
"My daughter … she's broken, this is her love, they have been together since high school - they thought they were going to have babies, they thought they were going to get married.
"He was supposed to come home from work on Friday and he never did."
She described both victims as good, hard-working young men.
- Additional reporting Anna Leask