Former Hamilton woman strangled to death
A woman was strangled to death in an industrial area using a makeshift noose, a court has heard.
Hamilton man Paraire Hori Te Awa, 33, is charged with the kidnap and murder of Rae Portman while Dean Michael Addison, 36 faces a charge of kidnapping and drugs charges.
Portman, 33, went missing in Auckland in June last year. Her body was found at the back of a rural Ardmore property in September.
Crown prosecutor Anna Pollett said in the High Court in Auckland the trial was about the "unfortunate and devastating result of being involved in the drug-dealing world".
"Often we hear about the destructive consequences of drug use," she said.
"This is a trial about possible consequences and dangers of drug dealing and the various paths involved in getting them to the ultimate consumer."
The Crown said Portman's death came about over an amount of pseudoephedrine - used to make methamphetamine - known as "a set", which she delivered to Addison.
The precursor substance was worth $9000 and could produce more than $40,000 of P, Pollett said.
Because she had not received payment, Portman went to see Addison at his Papakura home but her "so-called friend" knew she was coming and arranged for Te Awa, who lived next door, to intercept her.
"Addison arranged for Te Awa to deal with the situation on his behalf, to teach her a lesson; not to get rid of her forever but to get her off his back," Pollett said.
It is alleged Te Awa bound and gagged Portman before putting her in the boot of her own car and enlisting the help of Lee Rigby to drive her south.
Rigby pleaded guilty to a charge of kidnapping and was jailed for nearly four years in April.
The pair drove in convoy to Hamilton and after a couple of stops, they reached an industrial area.
According to the Crown, Te Awa instructed Rigby to pull a length of rope and some tools from the boot of Te Awa's yellow ute.
"If this is too much for you, walk away," he allegedly told him.
Pollett said the alleged killer then made a makeshift noose and twisted it around Portman's neck until she died, before putting her back in the boot of her car.
The black Mazda was hidden under a trampoline at a Ngaruawahia property but it is alleged Te Awa went back to retrieve the body and dumped it in a hole in the ground at the back of an Ardmore address where police eventually found her.
The trial in front of Justice Kit Toogood is scheduled to last three weeks.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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