Crown: Tryst with gang member's girlfriend ignited violence

FILE
FILE

A rich businessman's dalliance with a Headhunter gang member's girlfriend on a launch ignited a chain of violent events involving guns and kidnappings.

That's the picture the crown painted in the High Court at Rotorua, where nine men are on trial for 103 offences including kidnapping, firearms offences and participating in an organised criminal group.

The offending against two men was allegedly committed across the Bay of Plenty in January and February last year.

On trial are: Jordan Alexander Christian, 21, David Peter Clark, 36, Stephen William Daly, 33, Benjamin Paul Dwyer, 28, Brent Anthony Gunning, 37, Liam John Kane, 24, Matthew John McDonnell, 45, Stacy Walton Dennis Paora, 29 and Sam Wiremu Rolleston 23. They each pleaded not guilty to the charges they face.

All but one are claimed to be patched Headhunter members, with Kane a gang prospect.

Tight suppression orders surround the men allegedly kidnapped, one of them the businessman. Those closely associated with them also have their identities protected.

In a lengthy opening, Crown prosecutor Ngaroma Tahana told how Dwyer became "inflamed" after learning his girlfriend was in hospital because she'd been injured by a broken sex toy while on the rich man's launch.

Dwyer called in reinforcements and plans were hatched to extract revenge by extracting a large amount of property from him, including his boat, expensive cars and items from properties he owned.

After his girlfriend was robbed of her cellphone the businessman instructed a friend to load a truck with goods from a Mt Maunganui shed, but as he was doing so, he was cornered, beaten and forced to drive towards Rotorua.

Daly had pulled out a handgun, Ms Tahana said, at one point firing it through an open window. The victim had also been threatened with a hammer.

At Rotorua he was choked unconscious, punched when he came to and had a pistol pushed in his mouth.

The businessman was attacked at his lakes property where Dwyer hit him in the head with a rifle butt.

Forced to his central North Island farm he was repeatedly threatened with firearms and forced to withdraw $10,000 from his business account. En route to Rotorua to make further withdrawals he fled while gassing up his car, thumbing a lift to the police station. His friend was set free near Tauranga.

AAP

- Rotorua Daily Post

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