Two teenagers have pleaded guilty to killing a Whangarei man who was discovered at the rear of his home with serious head injuries.
Elias Pomare pleaded guilty to murder and Shayden Perkinson admitted a charge of manslaughter before their trial was due to start in the High Court at Whangarei yesterday.
The duo, both aged 17, killed Michael Patrick Griffin, 56, who was found at the rear of his Second Ave home, in Whangarei, about 8am on October 5, 2014 suffering from serious head injuries. The father-of-three was taken to Whangarei Hospital but died later that day.
During investigations, police asked anybody who had seen two orange-coloured bicycles or people riding the bikes, before Mr Griffin was found injured, in the Avenues area or near the Whangarei Bowling Club to contact them. The bikes were stolen from Mr Griffin's home.
Officers examined the Second Ave house after finding Mr Griffin in what they described at the time as a "very complex" case and said the Whangarei community had supplied crucial information allowing the investigation team to progress the matter. Police appealed to neighbours to check their backyards for items of interest but police would not say if the weapon used to assault Mr Griffin was among them. Police also urged people to come forward if they had discovered clothing on their property in the days prior to Mr Griffen's death.
An autopsy found the father of three adult sons was killed by a severe blunt-force blow to the head.
At the time of his death Mr Griffin had been working on alterations to a garage at the rear of his house, where he lived alone, when friends found him seriously injured.
Justice Edwin Wylie remanded Perkinson and Pomare in custody for sentencing. Perkinson will be sentenced on May 13 and Pomare on June 3.