8 Jun 2015

Teen denies acting as look-out for dairy pair

6:38 pm on 8 June 2015

A teenager who says he was with two boys accused of carrying out a fatal raid on an Auckland dairy has denied acting as a look-out.

Arun Kumar.

Arun Kumar. Photo: NZ POLICE

The 15-year-old is giving evidence in the High Court at Auckland, where a 14-year-old is accused of murdering 57-year-old Arun Kumar. A 13-year-old faces a charge of manslaughter.

Both also face charges of assault with intent to rob, and both have name suppression.

Justice Lang interrupted the cross examination of the 15-year-old to warn him that he did not have to answer questions he thought could get him into trouble.

The witness told the court he was with the boys the night before the fatal robbery, and that the group smoked synthetic cannabis.

The witness was taken through a collection of photographs of the 14-year-old's bedroom and confirmed he could see an ashtray and beer boxes in the photos.

He said when the two accused left the house the following morning, the plan was to rob the local shoe shop. Instead they went to the dairy.

The witness said he remained outside, and repeatedly denied assertions from the 14-year-old's lawyer, Maria Pecotic, he was acting as the lookout.

He said the other boy asked him to be the lookout but he never agreed to do that.

The witness reminded Ms Pecotic he had sworn on the Bible when she accused him of not being truthful.

It was at that point Justice Lang told him he did not need to answer questions he thought might get him into trouble.

The teen also confirmed the plan was that no one would get hurt, and that the knife was only to be used to scare the dairy owners.

He confirmed to Ms Pecotic that when the boys got home, the 14 year-old said he believed no one would get hurt and that if he had had a moment to think, he never would have done it.

Instead, the Crown says the 14-year-old stabbed Mr Kumar three times. Mr Kumar died of his wounds.

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