Hit-and-run murder appeal dismissed
The man convicted over the hit-and-run murder of a young mother in front of her son in a South Auckland parking lot has had a second appeal against his conviction dismissed.
Christopher Shadrock was originally convicted in the High Court at Auckland in 2011 of murdering Joanne Wang. His conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal, but at a re-trial in 2012, a jury found him guilty and a life sentence was reimposed.
Two men who were convicted alongside Shadrock after being found guilty of being accessories after the murder, Terence Tere and Maka Tuikolovatu, also had their second appeal against their conviction dismissed.
After initially having the appeals dismissed by the Court of Appeal, Shadrock, Tere and Tuikolovatu applied to the Supreme Court to overturn the Court of Appeal decision.
The Supreme Court dismissed their leave to appeal, in a decision released today.
Wang died in hospital from brain injuries after being knocked down by a stolen four-wheel-drive in the car park of the Manukau Westfield shopping centre in June 2008.
Shadrock was driving the stolen Nissan 4WD after snatching her handbag.
He did not expect her to chase him, and she held onto the front of the vehicle as he was trying to get away.
Tere set fire to the stolen car after the offending in order to destroy the evidence, while Tuikolovatu allowed Shadrock to hide Wang's stolen handbag at his home after the murder.
In their appeal to the Supreme Court, the trio challenged whether the Court of Appeal was "correct to hold that there was no miscarriage of justice by the trial judge referring in his summing up to the concept of second and third degree murder in the United States".
During the trial, the judge used an analogy with second and third degree murder in the US to explain that in New Zealand there is "one offence called murder, but it has more than one definition".
The Supreme Court decision noted that the Court of Appeal "made it very clear" the reference to the US justice system were "wholly unnecessary and should have been avoided".
However, it found that "the inappropriate analogy ... was incapable of deflecting the jury from the correct application of New Zealand law".
The Supreme Court found that there was not "a risk of a miscarriage of justice" and dismissed the leave to appeal.
- © Fairfax NZ News