Gay man killed in crime of 'unspeakable ferocity'

Last updated 00:00 01/01/2009

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Two young men kicked and beat a gay Palmerston North man to death in a drug and alcohol fuelled attack, a court was told yesterday.

Then as a final humiliation and with "unspeakable ferocity", the pair removed part of an earlobe and the head of the victim's penis, Crown prosecutor Ben Vanderkolk told the jury at the High Court in Palmerston North.

Ashley Arnopp, 21, and Andre Gilling, 18, have denied murdering Stanley Waipouri, 39, in his flat in Rangitikei St, Palmerston North, on the night of December 22 last year.

Mr Vanderkolk said it was unlikely events in the flat could ever be reconstructed and the question of motive for the killing was "unanswerable".

But what was certain from the abundant DNA evidence recovered was that Arnopp and Gilling both took part in the attack.

Mr Vanderkolk said the pair, fuelled by alcohol and party pills, had assaulted Mr Waipouri with kicks, punches and a weapon for more than an hour.

Mr Waipouri suffered fractured ribs, neck and facial bones and internal bleeding in the body and brain. He died of head and neck injuries.

Police found the two accused covered in blood after neighbours dialled 111 to complain about the noise.

Defence lawyer Greg King urged the jury to get inside Arnopp's state of mind as his "intention, knowledge, and foresight" at the time of the murder were critical to the case.

Gilling's lawyer, Mike Antunovic, called for the jury to put their feelings aside and give the pair a fair trial.

The trial is set down for two weeks.

- NZPA

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