A man sacked from a store passed on the security code to his mates who then burgled the premises, a New Plymouth District Court jury was told.
Samuel Paul Mosen, 26, yesterday pleaded not guilty to aiding Adam Morehu to enter Mag and Tyre Direct on Molesworth St New Plymouth early on April 7 last year.
Two months later, Morehu was shot and killed by police after a break-in at the New Plymouth Golf Club on June 8.
A second burglar, Dwayne Jarrod Ingram, has already done jail time after admitting his role in two of Morehu's earlier burglaries, at Westbar and Mag and Tyre.
Addressing the jury, Crown prosecutor Andrew Britton said while Mosen did not take part in the actual burglary, the Crown would prove Mosen had passed on the alarm code to Ingram and Morehu. At the time Mosen was one of only five people who knew the four-digit code.
Ingram staked out the business and he and Morehu burgled the premises, taking a cashbox with about $700 in it along with the hard drive with the CCTV security footage on it - and significantly - Mosen's employment contract, Britton said.
Mosen had just lost his job as the firm's tyre fitter because he had drinking problems and regularly failed to turn up to work on time.
Following his dismissal, the alarm code was not changed.
A search warrant at Mosen's home found nothing related to the burglary. But during the broader investigation that followed Morehu's death, called Operation Ngamotu, Mosen's connection with Morehu and Ingram was uncovered.
Ingram pleaded guilty to the June 6 smash and grab at Westbar with Morehu as well as the Mag and Tyre burglary, and was dealt with through the courts.
Police analysis of texts revealed Mosen's awareness of the Mag and Tyre burglary and that he played a role, Britton said.
The jury would hear from Ingram about how he and Morehu spent a lot of time on cars and consuming drugs together.
Ingram would tell the jury how Mosen spent time with them in Morehu's Waitara shed where Mosen wrote down the alarm code and handed it over.
Interviewed by police on June 26, Mosen initially denied knowing either of the men but later admitted he knew Ingram.
In law, Mosen was equally to blame for the Mag and Tyre burglary because he assisted, Britton said.
Mosen's defence lawyer, Russell Wilson said his client disputed the Crown case, which very simply came down to whether he gave the security code to Morehu and Ingram. Mosen would tell the jury that he had no involvement in the burglary.
The evidence the jury would hear from Ingram, who was the most important witness in the case, was unreliable and wrong, Wilson said.
The trial, before Judge Allan Roberts, is expected to finish mid-week.
- Taranaki Daily News
Will you stay up to watch the Cricket World Cup final?
View marriage and birth notices from around the region
View obituaries from around the region