Police shooting accused found guilty

By Edward Gay

Neshanderan Rajgopaul. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Neshanderan Rajgopaul. Photo / Sarah Ivey

The man accused of attempting to murder a police officer has been found guilty.

Neshanderan Rajgopaul, 29, has been on trial in the High Court at Auckland for attempting to murder Constable Jeremy Snow in Papatoetoe in December, 2009.

He was also found guilty of discharging a firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, three counts of unlawfully possessing a firearm, two of assault with a weapon, receiving stolen property and possessing a class A drug for supply. He was found not guilty of one count of unlawfully possessing a firearm.

Rajgopaul will be sentenced in April.

The jurors retired to consider their verdict at 1pm and took three and-a-half hours to reach their verdict.

Mr Snow was shot four times when he and his partner stopped to check a car parked in the driveway of house.

He was rescued by armed police as he came close to dying from blood loss.

Justice Patrick Keane said today in his summing up that Rajgopaul had admitted he lied to police when interviewed.

"But people lie for all sorts of reasons due to panic and fear. He was fearful about retaliation and being branded a nark," Justice Keane told the jury.

"You have to decide whether Rajgopaul's evidence was credible and reliable or not entirely convincing," Justice Keane said.

The jury would also have to pay careful consideration to the other witnesses they had heard during the trial, when determining who fired the shots, the judge said.

Rajgopaul's lawyer Ron Mansfield said there was strong and reliable evidence to suggest that his associate Darrin Court could have shot Mr Snow.

But Crown prosecutor Rachael Reed has said Rajgopaul was the man who gunned him down.

- with NZPA

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