A jury in the trial of two Northlanders accused of lying to police to protect a gang member from a homicide investigation will retire to consider their verdicts on Monday.
The Crown finished its evidence against Gregory Mark Comer, 58, and his son Gregory Matthew Comer, 18, in the High Court at Whangarei on Thursday and lawyers delivered their closing addresses to the jury yesterday.
Gregory Mark Comer (senior) faces charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice and being an accessory after the fact to murder, while his son is charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder.
The charges stem from the death of Lee Rata who was fatally wounded by a group of people, including members of the Mongrel Mob gang, after an argument on Bonnets Rd in Kaitaia on New Year's Eve 2015.
In his final address, Crown solicitor Mike Smith said the evidence pointed to the Comers trying to protect gang members responsible for Mr Rata's death from being caught.
Police were unable to find a helmet and a vest that were crucial to their investigation because the items were spirited out of Northland with the help of the Comers, Mr Smith said.
Mr Smith said the Comers knew there was a major police investigation and of the assault on Mr Rata, even though they had left Kaitaia before it all happened.
He urged the jury to leave prejudices about gangs and sympathy for Mr Rata aside and to apply logic, reason and common sense based on the evidence.
Defence lawyer Wayne McKean said there was no evidence his client Gregory Mark Comer was given the helmet and vest.
Comer Senior was arrested in Moerewa for receiving or stealing an Audi and spoken to at the Kerikeri police station for one hour and 40 minutes, he said.
However, he said there was no mention in his formal witness statement about his client trying to pervert the course of justice.
Justice Paul Davison will sum up the case to the jury on Monday morning and the jury is expected to retire before lunch.