Self-defence argument not an option for killer Mobsters, Crown argues
Two Mongrel Mob members claiming self-defence for a fatal shooting had in fact been the aggressors, the Crown says.
Dillin Pakai and Shane Pierre Harrison wanted drugs but had only $10 and a cut-off rifle hidden in Pakai's trousers, Crown prosecutor Grant Burston told the Court of Appeal on Wednesday.
In August 2013 the two Mongrel Mob Rogue members had gone to the home of a member of the Mongrel Mob Petone looking for drugs and, in his absence, had taken belongings including a phone.
When they were told to return the property they drove back to Petone, with Pakai firing shots at a bread delivery van on the trip.
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Alonsio Matalasi, 25, was not in the Mongrel Mob but he had friends who were. Matalasi, known as Sio, was shot at point-blank range in the exchange that followed.
Pakai, then a few weeks short of his 19th birthday, was the gunman. His lawyers told the Court of Appeal that Pakai acted in self-defence, trapped in a car with Matalasi trying to attack him with what was described as a samurai sword.
Shane Pierre Harrison, 46, was in the driver's seat with a gash to his head and a serious hand wound, trying to start the car to make their getaway.
Pakai was in a precarious situation, seeing Harrison's serious injuries and the jury should not have excluded Pakai's right to self-defence, lawyer Kevin Smith said.
But Burston said Pakai and Harrison were the aggressors. Shooting Matalasi, whose weapon was a badly bent sword, had been excessive.
Pakai, now 21, and Harrison were found guilty of murdering Matalasi.
Both were sentenced to life imprisonment. Pakai has to serve at least 12 years and three months' jail before he can be considered for parole.
Harrison has to serve 13 years' jail before he can be considered for parole.
Pakai and Harrison have appealed against their convictions. Pakai has also appealed against his sentence.
The Court of Appeal reserved its decision.
On Thursday the court is due to hear the Crown's appeal against Harrison and another convicted murderer avoiding having to serve their life terms without parole, for which they were at risk due to earlier "third strike" warnings.