Verdict due today for youth charged in home invasion case
A jury will today decide the fate of a Palmerston North teenager accused of involvement in a drug-seeking home invasion.
Soloman Tahau, 18, has been on trial in the Palmerston North District Court this week on a charge of assault with intent to rob.
After 3 hours' deliberation yesterday, the jury was sent home for the night. They were to have resumed deliberations at 9.15am and a verdict is expected today.
Tahau is accused of being part of a break-in seeking money and drugs at a Cuba St property on September 21 last year and assaulting the occupant, Tamamutu Kimura, who was hit in the head with a metal wheel rim.
Three other men, Peyote Kimura, Reece Tunnel and Toa Rerekura, have admitted involvement but Tahau maintains he was not present.
Judge Les Atkins told jury members they should be cautious about how they treated some of the evidence. For example, Peyote Kimura originally told police Tahau was present at the Cuba St house.
In court, he said that was false. Similarly, Tamamutu Kimura did not originally say Tahau was one of his assailants. He later said he identified Tahau.
Defence lawyer Steve Winter raised concerns that police never checked Tahau's alibi.
A charge of aggravated burglary against Tahau was dismissed after an application by the Crown.