12 May 2011

Witness warned to expect hog-tied man, court told

11:34 pm on 12 May 2011

A woman who lived in a New Plymouth house where a body was dumped says she had been warned that a hog-tied man would be brought there in a car boot.

The Crown says Dean Browne was murdered by Mikhail Pandey-Johnson, Rhys Fournier and Karl Nuku as he slept in his Wellington flat in January last year.

It alleges Mr Pandey-Johnson and Mr Browne, 38, fell out over a $5000 drug debt and that the accused believed the victim had sexually mistreated a friend.

On Thursday the New Plymouth High Court was told Mr Browne's body was left in Claire Davies' garage while the killers prepared to dispose of it.

Ms Davies said Mr Pandey-Johnson, 24, told her about 10 days earlier that some associates would arrive with a man in the boot for a pit-stop.

She said Mr Pandey-Johnson also told her he had a gun.

Ms Davies told the court that he and Mr Nuku, 19, talked about crushing 10 benzodiazapine tablets into the pasta of a man they called "Fatty".

She said Mr Pandey-Johnson became agitated the next day over phone calls reporting that "Fatty" was still standing.

Prosecutors say Mr Browne was trussed and injected with morphine by another person, who is now a Crown witness and 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.