27 Apr 2012

Lawyer accuses witness of a 'pack of lies'

9:09 pm on 27 April 2012

A defence lawyer has told a court a man who watched 33 dogs being killed has been telling a pack of lies and could have stopped the shootings if he had wanted to.

Tony Campbell and Russell Mendoza are on trial at Auckland District Court for their involvement in killing the dogs, at a Wellsford property two years ago.

They deny wilfully ill-treating an animal and recklessly discharging a firearm.

Richard Hawkings, a witness to the shootings, gave evidence that one or more dogs belonging to Rowan Hargreaves were believed responsible for mauling to death a fox terrier belonging to Mr Mendoza, a neighbour.

Mr Hawkings says Mr Hargreaves offered for Mr Mendoza to shoot the two adult dogs that may have been responsible.

However, when the two accused arrived at Mr Mendoza's property they opened fired into a cage, until all the dogs in it died.

Mr Hawkings told the court the pair also fired at dogs elsewhere at the property, and killed a group of puppies in a van.

He says he tried to intervene and told the men to stop.

Under cross examination, the defence lawyer Barry Hart accused Mr Hawkings of telling lies to cover his guilty conscience, for not trying to stop the men from carrying out the shooting.

The trial is expected to finish in a week's time.