Pregnant mum 'kicked in stomach'
An eight-months pregnant mother was repeatedly punched, and kicked in the stomach, during an allegedly gang-related home invasion in Canvastown, a jury has heard.
The woman, Hayley Kramer, has given evidence from behind a screen at the Nelson District Court retrial of James Samuel Kiriona, his younger brother Joshua Jade Kiriona, Daniel Waka Minogue, and Tuwhare Hoani Mana Pui.
The four had denied all charges relating to the September 24, 2012, Canvastown robbery at a jury trial in October last year, but that was abandoned after Judge David McKegg fell ill.
"I was scared that they were going to hurt me," Ms Kramer said yesterday under examination by Crown prosecutor Mark O'Donoghue - the second time she has testified against the four men in court.
She described seeing her partner, Reginald "Reg" Mischeski, being repeatedly hit over the head with a pair of steel garden loppers during the aggravated robbery, which the Crown says was a "rip" or "hit" for drugs and cash carried out by Pui, Minogue and Josh Kiriona on the order of Blenheim Mongrel Mob member James Kiriona.
"I just kept saying ‘stop, leave him alone, you are going to kill him'," Ms Kramer told the court.
She said a masked man entered her Te Hora Pa Rd home demanding pills, waking her 8-year-old daughter in the commotion.
She said "look at me, I'm pregnant", and yelled at him to leave.
The man, whom the Crown says was Minogue, then kicked her in her stomach.
"It was very hard," she recalled, her voice breaking.
"It dropped me to the ground.
"It was intense. I was doubled over, I physically couldn't stand up."
She said her daughter "definitely saw".
"She may have cried out for her mum. She was shocked, she was upset of course."
As the man turned to leave he twisted the woman's pinky finger and told her he would come back and kill her and her family, Ms Kramer said.
The Crown case is that the men were looking for pseudoephedrine pills used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. It was unclear whether they found the precursor drugs, the woman's evidence being that they made off with a plastic bag filled with Mr Mischeski's prescription pain medication.
She said the man who kicked her had been "frantically" looking for something, and that she saw the men who stayed outside "rummaging through the strawberry patch".
The woman called the police after the three men "scarpered".
Mr Mischeski was admitted to Wairau Hospital, his head gashed to the bone.
The woman was treated and discharged.
She has since had the child.
The Crown alleges that Mr Mischeski had long-standing ties with the Blenheim Mongrel Mob, and that text messages intercepted by police indicate the robbery was a form of revenge or "makutu".
"There has been a massive double-cross, against Reg and possibly against the captain of the Blenheim Mongrel Mob," Mr O'Donoghue said.
Nine lawyers were at court for the opening of the retrial, set down for seven days before Judge Chris Tuohy.
James Kiriona's counsel Rennie Gould was alone in making an opening statement for the defence, asking the jury to "keep an open mind until you have heard all the evidence".