15 Dec 2009

Pair guilty of Howick killing

9:42 pm on 15 December 2009

A High Court jury has found two men guilty of stabbing an Auckland man to death as he walked home from a party.

The 20 year olds, whose names are suppressed, were charged with killing Daryl Graydon two years ago.

Mr Graydon bled to death in Howick after he was stabbed five times.

The Crown said the men armed themselves with knives and tracked down their targets, following a fight in which one of the men was punched in the face.

One of the men was found guilty of murdering Mr Graydon, and the other guilty of his manslaughter.

Both were found not guilty of the attempted murder of Campbell Sussex, who was walking with Mr Graydon at the time.

The jury returned on Tuesday to ask for a definition of what acting with a common unlawful purpose meant.

Justice Asher explained it required a shared or mutual intention to commit an unlawful act.

The jury retired on Monday afternoon, and delivered its verdict on Tuesday afternoon.

Packed gallery

There was standing room only in the court's public gallery with members of all three families present for the verdict.

Detective Senior Sergeant Peter Jones says the Graydon family is relieved at the result, in a very sad situation.

A spokesperson for family members of the man convicted of murder says they are shocked, and weren't expecting a guilty verdict.

The man's lawyer Barry Hart says his client is incredibly disappointed, and criticised the 11-1 majority verdict for the murder conviction.

Mr Hart says there are grounds for appealing against the conviction and he plans to do so.

The men will be sentenced in February.