Mob member texted father to say goodbye

00:44, Jan 30 2013
Petone homicide
ON THE SCENE: Police investigate at Altair Flats in Petone this morning, where Sean Verma was stabbed to death last night.

A patched Mongrel Mob member texted his father to say goodbye before he died from stab wounds in Petone.

Police have launched a homicide investigation after the incident in the Lower Hutt suburb last night.  

Sean Verma, 30, died despite rescuers trying to save him in the stairwell of his flat.

He leaves behind an 18-month-old son.

Acting Senior Sergeant Andrzej Kowalczyk said police were initially called to an altercation between a man and a woman at the Housing New Zealand-owned Altair flats in East St, Petone about 10.30pm.

When police got to the scene they found the victim in the stairwell of the flats, where a friend was giving him first aid.

Police and ambulance staff continued CPR and other techniques to save him  for an hour before he died at the scene. His body was removed last night.

Sean Verma's father, Rajesh Verma, first knew something was wrong when he got a text message simply saying, "Bye" from his son about 8.30pm last night.

When he later saw police at the East St block of flats, neighbouring his own, he went across and was told a "very serious" crime had been committed. He was later told his son was dead and hugged the wrapped body as it was removed.

"He was my only son, even though he was Mongrel Mob but he was still my son. I am shattered."

He said his son was not violent. "He was alright, he was a good man."

Mr Verma, 57, is left looking after his son's 18-month-old boy.

Sean Verma's partner, 29, was arrested last night.

She was still to be interviewed by police this morning and had not been charged. Police were still at the scene this morning.

Police said local residents did not need to be concerned for their safety. They asked witnesses to contact police.

An autopsy would be conducted today.

Rajesh Verma
SHATTERED: Rajesh Verma knew something was wrong when his son Sean Verma sent him a text simply saying "Bye" last night. Sean Verma later died from a stab wound.

Neighbour Rachel Cooper said when she left her house near the flats at about 11pm she heard raised voices. When she returned about 1am she found the entire street cordoned off, with eight to 10 police cars and police in forensic suits investigating the scene.

Mongrel Mob associate Peter Paul said he was shocked to hear of his friend's death. Members of the gang gathered at the scene about 2.30am after news of the attack spread on Facebook.

"He loved his kids and he loved his computer too."


Peter Paul
SHOCKED: Sean Verma's Mongrel Mob associate Peter Paul says members of the gang gathered at about 2.30am after news of the attack spread on Facebook.

Preparations are being made for Mr Verma's tangi, which will be held at Te Huinga O te Marae Hall.

Verma was serving 10 months' home detention when he died.

In November he was sentenced in High Court in Wellington after earlier pleading guilty to blackmail, assault and wilful damage.

The charges date back to July, when Verma's partner went to look at a property advertised for rent. The man who showed her around texted her later in the day saying it had been let to someone else. He also asked her for oral sex.

Verma texted back, posing as his partner, and arranged to meet the man. He smashed his car windows with a bat, demanded his keys, and told the man he was dealing with the Mongrel Mob.

The man, whose name is suppressed, managed to drive away, escaping with just superficial cuts to his face.

Verma sent more texts telling the man he was "dead", saying he knew what his business was, and with references to the man's parents and property he owned. The man apologised and asked how he could make things right.

He offered to pay $5000 the next day - but Verma demanded $10,000.

Contact Tom Hunt

Breaking news reporter
Twitter: @tomdom76

The Dominion Post