26 May 2017

Gang member refused help after fatal stab wound

3:48 pm on 26 May 2017

A patched Black Power member laughed and yelled "bring it on bitch" when his partner pulled out the pocket knife that killed him.

Helen Joyce Rose plead guilty to the manslaughter of Rex Kariatiana when she appeared in the High Court in New Plymouth this morning.

She had been due to stand trial for his murder next month.

The summary of facts said the 46-year-old Eltham woman had been assaulted by Mr Kariatiana on 1 June prior to stabbing the 50-year-old in the back with the multi-function pocket knife.

The couple had been drinking at about 5pm and had an argument over allowing Mr Kariatiana's son, also a Black Power member, to be paroled to their address.

During the argument, the victim punched Rose about the head and body causing bruising to her ribs and giving her a black eye.

After the assault Rose sent a text message to friend saying "I swear if he touches me again I'll stab [him].

The couple continued to argue and the statement of facts said Mr Kariatiana yelled "you're gonna die bitch" at Rose.

At this stage Rose pulled out the pocket knife and the victim began to laugh, but as he got up and turned towards the defendant she stabbed him in the upper left side of his back.

Mr Kariatiana hit her again and said "oh you are really gonna die you bitch" before leaving the room.

Rose fled to an associate who she gave the knife to and the associate called Women's Refuge.

At about 7.15pm the police got a report that Mr Kariatiana was lying on the footpath in Eltham.

When they arrived a few minutes later Mr Kariatiana told them he had fallen and they observed he was drunk.

He refused treatment from an ambulance that had been called and asked to be taken to an associate's address.

The associate put a plaster on what appeared to be a cut on his back. Mr Kariatiana refused an offer to be taken to the hospital and went to a spare room.

At about 10pm he was found in a distressed state, struggling to breathe and mumbling something about a stab.

An ambulance was called and he left the address at 11.15pm but his condition deteriorated and at about 11.40pm he went into cardiac arrest.

His heart was restarted using a defibrillator at 12.10am and he arrived at Taranaki Base Hospital at about 12.30am.

At 2am on 2 June he underwent emergency surgery to stop bleeding from his intercostal artery and afterwards Mr Kariatiana was put on life support.

The statement of facts said a chest tube drained 1.5 litres of blood during the surgery and a further 1.5 litres was seen in the chest cavity.

Due to the large amount of blood loss Mr Kariatiana suffered multiple organ failure and a CT scan revealed brain injury in keeping with a lack of oxygenated blood.

At about midday on 3 June 2016 Mr Kariatiana's life support was turned off.

Rose had been located the day before and admitted she had stabbed Mr Kariatiana.

She said she had stabbed him because she wanted him to stop hitting and taunting her.

In court today the judge called for a probation report on Rose and asked that the possibility of home detention be canvassed.

Rose was issued a first strike warning and remanded to appear for sentencing on 30 June.