Convicted murderer Mikhail Rafael Pandey-Johnson has been refused the right to appeal his conviction in the Supreme Court.
Pandey-Johnson was the leader of the Killer Clown Fiends who were behind the cold-blooded execution of a drug dealer at a Wellington house in January 2010. Dean Browne, 38, was repeatedly hit with a hammer while he slept after an alleged falling-out over drugs. His body was later found wrapped up and abandoned in the garage of a New Plymouth house.
Aucklanders Pandey-Johnson and Karl Teangiotau Nuku were found guilty in the High Court at New Plymouth of his murder and in July 2011 were sentenced to serve at least 18 years of a life sentence.
In December 2012 the Court of Appeal dismissed their appeal against their convictions and sentences.
Pandey-Johnson then sought to challenge the Court of Appeal's decision in the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The application for leave to appeal was dismissed by the court this week. The grounds for the appeal were identified as the cause of the death and the admissibility of the evidence of a witness known as W29.
The Crown's case at trial was that Mr Browne's death was the result of the hammer blows but after the attack and before his death, W29 injected morphine into him.
Pandey-Johnson sought to argue the Crown had not proved Mr Browne was killed by the hammer blows.
The Supreme Court found the Court of Appeal had carefully reviewed the evidence relating to causation.
"The position remains that there is no expert evidence to suggest that there was a credible basis for challenging the Crown case as to causation. We, therefore, see no appearance of a substantial miscarriage of justice." The Supreme Court found that once W29 abandoned her dishonest denials, her accounts of events were broadly consistent and aspects of her evidence were supported by independent evidence.
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