LATEST: The career criminal who killed Kapiti man Raymond Piper has 175 prior convictions, including for serious violent offences.
Ainsley "Scrooge" Anderson, 51, a patched Mongrel Mob member, pleaded guilty in Porirua District Court yesterday to the murder of Mr Piper, 23, who went missing from Paraparaumu on May 15. His body was found in a shallow grave on Sunday after Anderson told police where to look.
A former police gang intelligence officer told The Dominion Post Anderson was well respected in the gang fraternity and had a "huge reputation".
"He's an interesting character ... quite staunch. He's certainly known for not pissing about. If he has problems with people, he'd sort it out pretty quickly."
Known to carry knives or guns, Anderson had links to several gangs and had formerly run with well-known Whanganui Hells Angel John O'Connor.
Most recently a resident of Paraparaumu, Anderson previously lived in Whanganui, where he ran a business repiling houses.
The officer said Anderson was trying to establish a new Mongrel Mob chapter around Marton and was not "too far off crushing the Hells Angels in Whanganui".
"He thinks outside the square a little bit and just does stuff. But he plans, he's not completely reckless."
In 2005 Anderson was jailed for two years and nine months on firearms and cannabis charges.
Crown solicitor Stephen Ross said at the time there was "serious concern about inter-gang rivalry" in Whanganui because of recent drive-by shootings. Police had found three loaded rifles in Anderson's Whanganui home.
In November the year before, he had been charged with behaving in a threatening way which was likely to cause violence after stirring up trouble in a Whanganui court house. In 1995 he was jailed for possession of a pistol.
Last year Anderson was convicted of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He was arrested in June in relation to Mr Piper's death. When appearing in Porirua District Court in July he responded to screams of abuse from the dead man's family with a gun-like hand signal.
Anderson has 175 previous convictions since 1977, many for serious assaults and for threatening to kill, assaulting police, dishonesty and drug convictions.
The former police officer said unlike many gang members, Anderson was a leader who often used Mongrel Mob muscle for his own ends. But he was not above having a chat, even with police.
"If we arranged to have a chat he probably would talk. A couple of those words would be `f...' and `off' but he would entertain a conversation if there was something in it for him."
CHARGE WITHDRAWN AGAINST MURDERER'S SON
Police have withdrawn a charge of being a party to the murder of Raymond Piper against Ainsley Anderson's teenage son.
The charge against Louie Anderson, 17, was withdrawn in the Porirua District Court today.
Ainsley Anderson previously faced the same charge but yesterday took sole responsibility for the death of Mr Piper, 23, who went missing from his former partner Hanna Lark's home in Eatwell Ave, Paraparaumu on May 15.
Mr Piper's body was found in a shallow grave in the Maungakotukutuku Valley near Paraparaumu on Sunday after a 4 1/2 month police investigation.
An autopsy formally identified the body and revealed that Mr Piper died from multiple stab wounds to the chest.
Louie Anderson appeared in Porirua District Court last month. Police strongly opposed bail at the time but he was freed on strict conditions.
Outside court yesterday, the officer in charge of the case, Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Oxnam, said Ainsley Anderson had taken sole responsibility for the murder and led police to find Mr Piper's body.
"He has accepted responsibility for the murder of Raymond Piper. It is quite something for someone to plead guilty to murder."
Mr Piper's family did not attend Anderson's court appearance.
"Raymond's body is at their home and their focus is on dealing with their grief for Raymond. They are absolutely relieved to have their son back home."
Piper will be buried in the Bay of Plenty tomorrow.
About 70 officers were involved in the case during parts of the investigation, which was upgraded to a homicide when forensic evidence found in Ainsley Anderson's four-wheel-drive vehicle confirmed Mr Piper had met a violent death.
Mr Piper had been seen travelling in the Mazda Marvie on the day he disappeared.
The vehicle was seized at a Turakina property on June 8 and a Paraparaumu service station was cordoned off and searched by police a couple of days later.
Ainsley Anderson appeared in court later that month charged with being party to Mr Piper's murder and was remanded in custody.
Hanna Lark has a three-year-old son to Mr Piper and along with Mr Piper's sister Aroha, alerted police in May when he went missing, saying it was totally out of character for him not to stay in close contact with his son.
Mr Piper's cash card was found in Ms Lark's house after he disappeared while she was out.
The family, including Ms Lark, searched remote areas of the district for months for any sign of him.
Security was tight in court yesterday for Ainsley Anderson's guilty plea. Half a dozen police officers and security guards wearing protective vests guarded the courtroom but there were no public outbursts.
He was remanded in custody to reappear in the High Court at Wellington for sentencing in November.
Susan Bragger, 44, of Paraparaumu, and Sean Hawke, 50, of Tauranga, have been charged with being party to causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Piper.
They are due to sign bail bonds this week before their next court appearance dates are confirmed.
- The Dominion Post