Weapons used in fatal fight

By Edward Gay

Nunchaku were used in a fight that led to the deat of Thuong Si Nguyen. File photo  /Thinkstock
Nunchaku were used in a fight that led to the deat of Thuong Si Nguyen. File photo /Thinkstock

Two Auckland brothers had weapons hidden in their carport and were expecting a visit from the man they later murdered, a court has been told.

Thuong Si Nguyen was found dead in the back seat of his car by police in August, 2009.

Phuong Hung Le and Manh Thanh Le of Papatoetoe are accused of murdering Mr Nguyen with knives and a machete. They are also charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to Mr Nguyen's friend and have pleaded not guilty.

Crown prosecutor Christine Gordon SC told the High Court at Auckland today that there was some "ill feeling" between Phuong Le and Mr Nguyen.

Just what led to the confrontation was not clear but Ms Gordon said that on the morning of August 27, 2009, Mr Nguyen drove to a Papatoetoe house where the Le brothers were living.

He took with him two friends and weapons, including an ornamental sword, nunchaku and a machete.

She said the Le brothers were expecting Mr Nguyen.

"The Crown case is that they had three lethal weapons at hand, in case there was a fight."

Ms Gordon said Mr Nguyen was unarmed when he got out of his car and approached Phuong Le in the front garden.

Mr Nguyen's friend, Xuan Nguyen, also got out of the car and stood on the grass verge with the nunchaku.

She said Mr Nguyen and Phuong Le "exchanged words" before Mr Nguyen took the nunchaku off Xuan Nguyen and chased Phuong Le, hitting him on the back of the head.

But when Phuong Le got to the carport, he turned around with a knife.

His brother, Manh Thanh Le, was nearby and armed with a machete.

Ms Gordon said there was a struggle between Mr Nguyen and the Le brothers. Mr Nguyen lost his nunchaku and was stabbed.

She said Mr Nguyen's lung was punctured and the stab wound went right through into his vertebrae.

Xuan Nguyen then went back to the car and took out the ornamental sword. Manh Thanh Le came after him with a machete and a metal pipe.

Ms Gordon said Xuan Nguyen fell to the ground and received a "large gash" to his head after being hit by one of the brothers.

Mr Nguyen's other friend, Manh Tuan Le - also known as Tuan, saw both his friends attacked and initially took a machete from the car but after seeing Xuan Nguyen run down the street, he followed suit.

Ms Gordon said the two friends walked back to where Mr Nguyen lay on the grass and tried to drag him back to his car in order to take him to hospital.

When police arrived a short time later, Mr Nguyen was dead.

She said it was Phuong Le who caused the fatal wound "by plunging a knife" into Mr Nguyen's chest but he was helped and encouraged by his brother.

The trial continues.

- APNZ

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