30 Apr 2013

Closing submissions made in cold case

8:06 pm on 30 April 2013

Lawyers for the Crown and defence have given their closing addresses in the trial of a 72-year-old man accused of murdering a service station attendant more than 33 years ago in the central North Island.

Menzies Hallett is charged with the murder of Rodney Tahu, 31, who died after being shot twice early on 16 August 1979 in Turangi.

Crown prosecutor Fletcher Pilditch told the Rotorua High Court on Tuesday that the accused no longer accepts that he shot and killed Mr Tahu and the identity of the killer will have to be proven beyond reasonable doubt.

Mr Pilditch said Mr Hallett felt resentment and frustration towards his estranged wife and Mr Tahu was the man who got in the way.

Earlier in the trial, Menzies Hallett's former wife told the court he visited her in Wellington on 16 August 1979 and told her that he had killed someone.

Mr Pilditch told the jury other evidence indicates that the accused was travelling south with a revolver capable of firing the bullets found in Mr Tahu.

For the defence Paul Mabey, QC, said the jury must decide if his presumed innocent client is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

The judge will sum up the case on Wednesday morning.