Slain son's death 'absolutely senseless'

The writer mother of murdered Bay of Plenty teenager Jordan Herewini said today she was unable to describe how she felt about her son's "brutal, absolutely senseless death".

Natalie Cowley was delivering her victim impact statement at the sentencing in the High Court at Rotorua of Jordan's killer, Quentin Pukeroa, to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 15 years.

Kawerau Mongrel Mob member Pukeroa ran down and killed Jordan in Murupara last year amid tension between the Mongrel Mob and locally based Tribesmen gang.

Nothing could have prepared her for seeing her boy's lifeless body lying on a cold mortuary slab, cut, bruised, broken and with a huge tyre impact across his chest, Ms Cowley told the court.

With her daughter by her side clutching Jordan's photograph, Ms Cowley said her son's death was revolting, brutal and an absolutely senseless crime.

Turning to Pukeroa, the man found guilty of Jordan's murder, she told him she had been trying to understand his position.

"You keep any remorse in you hidden because of your gang. You can hide behind your Mongrel Mob but strip that away and you are a man who killed a boy.

"Did you get the wrong person, Quentin?" she asked adding that Jordan had not been a gang prospect.

In November Pukeroa, 32, was found guilty of Jordan's murder after a trial that lasted almost five weeks, the attempted murder of Iwi Delamere, two counts of aggravated burglary resulting in the smashing up of two Murupara properties and participating in a criminal group, the Mongrel Mob.

The jury heard how tensions between Murupara's Tribesman and Kawerau's Mongrel Mob escalated on January 27 last year after Jordan was abused by Pukeroa and another Mongrel Mob member.

At the time Jordan was wearing his yellow school PE shirt. Yellow is the colour associated with the Tribesmen gang, while Mongrel Mob members wear red.

The abuse led to a fight in Murupara's town centre during which Pukeroa was punched, hit over the head with an axe then thrown to the ground.

Pukeroa's truck had been taken by Tribesmen members, one of Jordan's brothers included, burnt out and pushed over a bank.

Events then escalated into what was described as "war", culminating in Jordan being run over by Pukeroa, who was at the wheel of a truck belonging to a Herewini brother. Jordan died in the ambulance taking him to Rotorua Hospital.

Pukeroa had driven off, aiming the vehicle at Mr Delamere who had managed to jump out of the way.

Sentencing Pukeroa, Justice Edwin Wylie said the theft of his truck made him extremely angry and he had set out to extract revenge.

Murupara had been held to ransom for a period of hours.

Justice Wylie said he totally endorsed Justice Ailsa Duffy's comments in the same court a week ago that Murupara must live in shame and despair at the behaviour of its young people.

Pukeroa was given additional jail sentences of nine years for the attempted murder of Mr Delamere, eight years each on two counts of aggravated burglary, two years for injuring Jamie Herewini with intent to injure and three years for his participation in an organised criminal group, all to be served concurrently with the sentence of life imprisonment.

Justice Wylie called for silence as applause erupted from the public gallery when the sentence was announced.

Also sentenced in relation to the criminal group charge were Terry John Faataape, 40, who was jailed for two years and four months, William Te Paire Aramoana, 25, who was sentenced to two years and five months and Jason Kirk Iopata, 37, who was ordered to spend 11 months on home detention and carry out 150 hours' community work in Murupara.

Lynette Victoria Teddy, who pleaded guilty to participating in a criminal group, had her sentencing adjourned so a restorative justice programme can be addressed.

- NZPA

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