Mongrel Mob member's tears in court

AMY MAAS AND IAN STEWARD
Last updated 13:36 29/11/2012

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A Mongrel Mob gang member broke down in court as he recounted events that allegedly led to his 72-year-old father being fatally injured by rival gang members trying to flee a beating. 

Setephano Munokoa is on trial at the High Court in Auckland charged with the manslaughter of Sione Lauano on June 4, 2011. 

The dead man's son, Henry Lauano, known as "Henz Dog", was in the witness stand for about 30 minutes this morning before he broke down and said he "won't go on".

"My dad would've wanted me to forgive you. I forget, but I can't forgive," Lauano told the accused from the witness stand.

He refused to continue giving evidence about the day in question.

Justice Pamela Andrews adjourned proceedings and gave Lauano leave to "calm down".

At the time of the alleged offending, Munokoa, 22, was part of the South Auckland street gang HFK, which, with creative spelling, stands for who f***** cares?

The court heard that on June 4, Munokoa went partying with four HFK friends and he drove the men to get a cannabis tinnie from a dealer they knew called Fat Rob.

Fat Rob was not at his home in Vine St, Mangere, but a Mongrel Mob party was in full swing.

The car was parked down the long driveway.

The young men were met at the door by patched Mongrel Mob members Tauira Wong Tung, known as "Tau Dog", and the younger Lauano.

The conversation was cordial at first but erupted into a fight after one of the drunk HFK boys said something to the effect of: "What the hell are we doing hanging with the Mongrel Mob" and one of the others may have said "Take your b**** inside" about one of the women who was outside witnessing the altercation, the court heard.

Wong Tung punched two of the HFK men in the back of the head and weapons - bolt cutters and a wrench - were produced, the court heard. Munokoa leapt in the car as Lauano advanced on him and started smashing the car's windows with the bolt cutters.

The car reversed but the open back door hit a lamp post making a "wicked" sound and smashing the glass out. The car lurched forward at Lauano who jumped out of the way.

Lauano's father Sione appeared in the middle of the scene calling for everyone to stop fighting when he was run over and pinned under the car.

Munokoa and his friend jumped from the vehicle and ran from the scene leaving the car, running, on top of the elderly man, the court heard.

Wong Tung eventually had to drive the car off Lauano, who was taken to Middlemore Hospital.

Many of the facts in the case have been accepted by Munokoa, who admits he was driving the car that killed Lauano.

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Defence lawyer Shane Tait said his client would argue self-defence.

Crown prosecutor Nick Williams said the Crown accepted Lauano was defending himself but the case would turn on whether the force he used was reasonable in the circumstances as he believed them to be.

The trial continues.  

- Auckland Now

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