11 May 2011

Bludgeoned man had 'no chance' to defend himself

7:43 pm on 11 May 2011

A man killed in a Wellington flat had no chance to defend himself when he was bludgeoned with hammers in his sleep before being injected with morphine, a court has been told.

The Crown says Dean Browne was a 'P' cook and was murdered by Mikhail Pandey-Johnson, Rhys Fournier and Karl Nuku.

On Wednesday a jury at the New Plymouth High Court was told Mr Pandey-Johnson, 24, led a gang called the Killer Clown Fiends and sold drugs with his co-accused.

The Crown says he and Mr Browne, 38, fell out over a $5000 drug debt and that the accused believed the victim had sexually mistreated a friend.

The court was told that on 21 January last year after a failed attempt to drug their victim, Mr Nuku, 19, and possibly Mr Fournier, 23, bashed Mr Browne's head with hammers as he slept in his Oriental Bay flat.

Prosecutors say Mr Browne was trussed and injected with morphine by another person, who is now a Crown witness who has name suppression. The body was then dumped in a garage in New Plymouth.

The accused admit they cleaned up the mess, but deny the charge of murder.

However, Mr Nuku's lawyer says the Crown witness is the killer.

Mr Fournier's lawyer asked jurors to focus on that person's credibility, whether she owned the hammers, cable ties and duct tape used, and why she administered the morphine.