9 Feb 2010

Victim was angry before attack, court told

8:44 pm on 9 February 2010

A prosecution witness has told the High Court in Napier that a Hawke's Bay agricultural contractor was angry the night he was fatally stabbed.

In January last year, Mark McCutcheon, 34, was found dead in his ute about a kilometre from the Sandford Arms tavern in the township of Onga Onga.

A 23-year-old gang prospect, Hulio Ataria, accepts that he killed Mr McCutcheon, but says it was in self-defence.

Craig Turfrey told the court via a video link from the United States that he was drinking outside the hotel with the victim and another man when they heard angry yelling and screaming.

They went to investigate and Mr McCutcheon told a patched gang member to stop assaulting a woman sitting in a car, before repeatedly telling the man and the accused in no uncertain terms to leave the premises.