Guilty pleas in Kuirau Park murder

By Dana Kinita -

One of the men accused of murdering Polish man Roman Skorek in Kuirau Park in Rotorua last January has this morning pleaded guilty.

Two others have admitted charges of causing grievous bodily harm.

The trio appeared in the High Court at Rotorua this morning and changed their pleas to guilty before a trial was to get underway before Justice Kit Toogood.

Simon Meka Herewini, 20, pleaded guilty to murder and William Karauna Edwards, 16, and Leslie McKay Glen, 15, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.

Herewini and Edwards have been remanded in custody to reappear for sentencing on October 4.

Glen was granted electronically monitored bail and will also be sentenced on October 4.

Mr Skorek, 64, died after being attacked in Kuirau Park on January 29 last year.

In December, Rotorua man Rawiri James Samuel, 22, was sentenced in the High Court at Rotorua to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 12 years for Mr Skorek's brutal killing after pleading guilty to murder.

The court heard that Samuel and others met Mr Skorek at the park's hot pools and drank with him.

At one point, Samuel thought Mr Skorek was making sexual advances towards one of the people he was with and assaulted him, punching him in the face and head.

When Mr Skorek fell to the ground Samuel kicked him and jumped on his chest.

Samuel and associates then left, with Samuel taking a knife with a five-inch blade and money from Mr Skorek's bag.

He went back to Mr Skorek, who was unconscious and making a snoring sound.

Samuel stabbed him once in the face and once in the upper chest.

Mr Skorek also received another stab wound to the chest, a six-inch open wound on his throat and suffered a fractured skull.

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