13 Sep 2013

Gang member jailed over drug dealer's killing

10:19 pm on 13 September 2013

A Mongrel Mob member found guilty of the manslaughter of a man described as a small-time drug dealer has been sentenced to eight years three months' jail.

Harlem Turi, 32, was ordered to serve at least four years three months of the term.

The body of Michael Mulholland, who was 52, was found in the driveway of a Lower Hutt property in September last year.

He had suffered a heart attack a short time after being badly beaten by Harlem Turi, who had gone to his home seeking methamphetamine.

In the High Court at Wellington, the sentencing judge, Justice Dobson, said the attack caused severe injuries to Mr Mulholland, including fractures to his nasal bones and an eye socket and broken thyroid cartilage in his neck.

Justice Dobson said an associate of Turi's (Desmond Leaf) had already punched Mr Mulholland and there were several aggravating features to the attack.

"You focused on his head, which is the most vulnerable part of the body. You were attacking him in his home, where New Zealanders are generally entitled to treat themselves as safe, and you and Mr Leaf were both wearing gang patches which would increase the level of intimidation in this violent standing over.

"In addition, the attack was to pressure Mr Mulholland into supplying you with drugs, when you had no money to pay for them."

He said since 1998 Turi had served 13 jail terms for violent crimes and the attack on Mr Mulholland occurred soon after he was released from jail.