Four people have been found guilty of murdering disabled Featherston man Glen Jones in a vigilante attack after he was accused of rape.
Jones, 40, had opened the door to a knock after midnight on January 12 last year, to have four people confront him, two of them wielding wooden weapons.
The Crown said it had been an alcohol-fuelled frenzy.
Standing 160cm tall and weighing 75kg, "Jonesey" was battered, punched and kicked.
Jones died from head injuries less than five hours later.
In the High Court at Wellington yesterday a jury found three men and a woman guilty of murdering him.
Two of them had already pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary of Jones' flat and the other two were found guilty, along with Toni Miller who had driven three of them there and faced only the burglary charge.
All are in custody pending sentencing on May 30.
Two of the people who attacked him are also named Jones, but it is understood that all are unrelated. All the defendants are parents.
The woman who had made the rape complaint, whose name is suppressed, said yesterday that she told some of the defendants about her claim against Jones but told them to leave it to the police and do nothing.
"The whole thing is a nightmare, what Glen did to me and what was done to him."
Police were soon on to the defendants. The two cars the attackers had arrived in were spotted a street away by a community patrol who thought they were suspicious and passed details to police.
The jury heard the defendants were tracked from Featherston to an Upper Hutt service station where some cleaned the blood from their shoes and filled up on pies, appearing unconcerned, a security video showed.
They carried on to Wellington to do a lap of the night club strip on Courtenay Place and then stopped at the Taita Cemetery for Kristofer Jones to visit the graves of his baby daughter and partner. His partner had died two years earlier to the day, in a car crash.
A "pole ceremony" was held that day on the spot where she was killed.
The group were together again in the afternoon at car "burnouts" in Masterton.
When police caught up with them three of the four attackers gave statements and no-one admitted having the weapons.
"As far as I know he was just a bum who worked at the Four Square," one said of Glen Jones.
Glen Jones had always lived in Featherston and was well-known. He had worked for 15 years at a local supermarket.
As a toddler he survived a brain tumour but his balance was affected, he was weak on one side and saw only shadows in one eye. He had learning difficulties and epilepsy.
Tariana "Skin" Hineteanaurangi Jones, 34:
The attack on Mr Jones was launched from a gathering at her Masterton house. The home-made bat used on Mr Jones was hers but she denied using it. She was alleged to have put on her "stomping boots" before going to Featherston. However, she said her only entry into Mr Jones' flat was to pull out another defendant.
Found guilty of murder and aggravated burglary.
Kristofer "Lispy" Lee Jones, 24:
The woman who accused Glen Jones of rape was the mother of a friend. The woman had been very good to Kristofer Jones and had taken him in off the streets.
Smallest of the men, he was the first through the door of Mr Jones' flat with the words: "You raped my mate's mum". The Crown said he had a weapon but he said he only shoved Mr Jones. Found guilty of murder and aggravated burglary.
Matthew "Anaconda" or "Conda" John McKinney, 29:
The rape complainant was a friend. He, his partner, and Tariana Jones had previously discussed the rape allegation. He took a wooden axe handle but said someone else used it. McKinney said he was lookout while others were supposed to only "touch up" Glen Jones.
Found guilty of murder, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary.
Hayden "Crim" Ranson, 28:
Close to Kristofer Jones but not well known to the rest. Was living in the Hutt Valley at the time. The only one of the accused not to speak to police after Mr Jones died.
The Crown said Ranson wielded one of the weapons but Ranson's lawyer said independent evidence did not support that. Found guilty of murder, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary.
Toni Maree Miller, 23:
She had spoken to the rape complainant.
Was pregnant at the time and not drinking, so drove three of the others from Masterton to Featherston.
The Crown said she was one of the instigators of the attack and watched from the footpath.
She said she followed the others but ran off when she heard screaming.
Charged with aggravated burglary only and found guilty.
- The Dominion Post