9 Feb 2009

Retrial begins into fatal beating of teenager

6:54 pm on 9 February 2009

A retrial of a man accused of beating a South Auckland teenager to death has begun at the High Court in Auckland.

Gang member Jeffrey Key, 26, is charged with murdering Riki Mafi in September 2006.

The retrial was ordered last year after police received new information.

The Crown says the attack on Mr Mafi unprovoked, brutal and deliberate.

The court was told on Monday Mr Mafi was passing through the Otara town centre on his way home when he stopped to lend cigarette papers to two strangers.

A group of men including Jeffery Key, who was armed with a metal bat, then emerged and began chasing the trio.

Mr Mafi was not fast enough and became the victim of wanton street violence, the court was told.

The Crown says the attack was so brutal the accused's own friends stepped in to stop him - but it was too late.

Mr Mafi died in hospital 48 hours after being attacked.