Robbery victim a friend - accused

Last updated 13:00 14/02/2014

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The victim of a violent home invasion and robbery shook hands in court with the man accused of ordering the "hit".

The interplay between Reginald "Reg" Mischeski and the Blenheim Mongrel Mob member happened as the jury were leaving their seats at the Nelson District Court trial of James and Joshua Kiriona, Daniel Minogue and Tuwhare Pui.

The Crown says James Kiriona "ordered" his younger brother Joshua to rob Mr Mischeski's Canvastown home for drugs and cash.

Mr Mischeski was hit over the head with a pair of heavy garden loppers during the September, 2012, incident, and was admitted to Wairau Hospital for three days with a fractured skull.

Rennie Gould, defence lawyer for James Kiriona, said her client was a longtime friend of Mr Mischeski and had not told anybody to rob him. She said he was not a party to the aggravated robbery as charged.

Joshua Kiriona, Minogue and Pui have also pleaded not guilty to aggravated robbery, and denied charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and burglary of drugs.

Minogue denies injuring with intent and threatening to kill. The Crown says he punched, kicked and threatened Mr Mischeski's partner Hayley Kramer, who was eight months pregnant.

Yesterday, the court heard evidence from Blenheim Detective Barry Ramaki, who interviewed James Kiriona in the weeks after the 2012 home invasion.

He said Kiriona told him he visited Mr Mischeski in hospital after he was attacked.

"Reggie is my friend, he is like family to me. I look after his kids," Kiriona told the detective.

He admitted sending his brother a text message in the days before the robbery telling him to "rip Reg", but said that did not mean attack him.

Mr Mischeski was known as somewhat of a shark when it came to business, and "rip Reg" meant Joshua should try to get the better deal at their next transaction, James Kiriona said.

He said he sent texts to Joshua after the robbery, threatening that the captain of the Blenheim Mongrel Mob wanted his bit, as a way of "fishing for information" to find out who had attacked Mr Mischeski.

The Crown says James Kiriona orchestrated a "massive double cross".

Under cross-examination by Ms Gould, Detective Ramaki agreed that Kiriona had been friendly and co-operative with police.

The trial is expected to conclude on Wednesday.

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- Nelson

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