Highly charged atmosphere in Fenton courtroom

By Elizabeth Binning

Members of a murdered girl's family cried and shouted abuse as captured Black Power gang member Nathan Fenton appeared in court today charged with her death.

Fenton, 31, was captured at 2am today after 11 days on the run from police hunting the killer of 17-year-old Mairina Dunn whose battered body was found in a house in Whangarei.

Police mounted a huge security operation around the Whangarei District Court as Fenton appeared with his co-fugitive, Eileen Everitt, 28.

More than 50 members of Mairina Dunn's family gathered outside the court to see Fenton, watched by 10 uniformed police, 7 detectives and court security guards.

At first the court was closed as lawyers discussed whether the family should be allowed in to the hearing. Judge Duncan Harvey ruled the court should be open.

But when Fenton - dressed in a white boiler suit with a splash of blood on the left, upper chest - was led to the dock, a man from the family swore and shouted abuse. Fenton stood, unflinching, in the dock as the man was taken out of court by police.

One of Mairina's aunts, Melissa Diamond fought back tears as she stared at Fenton whose hair was long, wavy and hanging across his face.

Fenton has been charged with the murder of Ms Dunn, two counts of unlawfully taking a boat, one of unlawfully taking a car, two burglaries and theft of camping gear.

He entered no plea and was remanded in custody for two weeks. The judge ordered a report into whether Fenton is able to enter a plea.

Fenton's co-accused, Everitt, is charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder, two counts of burglary and two counts of unlawfully taking a boat.

Wearing a white boilet suit, she stood in the dock with her head held high and arms crossed on her chest.

On seeing her, Mrs Diamond started shouting abuse, stood up and left the court, crying and screaming.

Everitt was remanded in custody for two weeks, without entering a plea. As she was led away, she could be heard shouting at Ms Dunn's family from the cell.

Outside the court, Mrs Diamond said she had tried to be strong and respectful in court but had been overcome by the sight of Fenton and Everitt.

Mairina's mother, Queenie Dunn, said it had been difficult for the family to be in court and see the pair but she wanted to attend all court hearings to watch justice being done.

She wanted to get the family together to begin the process of recovering from the Mairina's death.

But first she plans to go to Mairina's grave to farewell her.

"I'm going to go up north and have a good talk to her."

Fenton and Everitt were captured at 2am today after a huge police manhunt.

Detective Senior Sergeant Marty Ruth told the NZ Herald that Fenton eluded a police road block after crashing the car he was in and made it to Taupiri Bay where he stole a 4 metre "tinny" runabout from a boatshed and made his way 25km down the coast to Whananaki.

Police believe he then stole an inflatable and transferred the motor from the stolen tinny to it, before he heading for another bay around Whananaki.

After police were alerted to the missing boat they converged in force on the Whananaki area.

He was captured in a caravan beside a small bach in the area.

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