Man's death 'bad luck' for two accused

Last updated 12:51 24/07/2013

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A Lower Hutt drug dealer collapsed and died no more than 16 minutes after his blood was spattered around his Farmers Crescent house in a serious assault, a Wellington jury has been told.

Michael Mulholland, 52, was "never going to make old bones", prosecutor Tom Gilbert said in the High Court today.

Mulholland had a heart condition, probably made worse by the long term use of methamphetamine which was bad for the heart.

The stress of the assault brought on a fatal collapse on September 20, last year, it is alleged.

Gilbert said the evidence suggested that was no more than 16 minutes since the assault, and probably only 10 minutes.

Having had two Mongrel Mob members come into his kitchen, repeatedly punching him to obtain drugs.

"What do you think your heart would be doing?" Gilbert asked the jury.

To suggest the stress would have passed and had no further effect on Mulholland's heart was "a departure from common sense". Death so soon after could not be just a coincidence, he said.

Jurors had only to think back to the earthquake at 5.09pm on Sunday to realise how long the stress of a traumatic event can last, Gilbert said.

Mulholland was in poor condition but that was bad luck for Desmond Leaf, 31, and Harlem Rawiri Turi, 32, who are charged with his manslaughter, Gilbert said.

Those who choose to attack and assault people have to take their victims as they find them, he said.

Leaf and Turi have pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter charge and a less serious alternative of injuring  Mulholland with intent to injure him.

Turi has also pleaded not guilty of robbing one of Mulholland's female clients of $100.

In his final address to the jury Gilbert said that if, after the assault, Mulholland had settled down with a cup of tea to watch Coronation St, it might be fairer to say he had returned to some sort of normality.

Instead, still dripping blood, he had gone to a friend's house nearby looking for help.

The jury may retire later today to begin considering its verdicts.

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- The Dominion Post

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