Man guilty of Northland murder, co-accused not guilty

By Kristin Edge -
Jurors in the murder trial of Wayne Bracken and Neville Joseph Dangen examined the scene at the Wairakau Stream Track. Photo / Peter De Graaf
Jurors in the murder trial of Wayne Bracken and Neville Joseph Dangen examined the scene at the Wairakau Stream Track. Photo / Peter De Graaf

It took a jury just over six hours to find Wayne Bracken guilty of kidnapping and murdering Auckland father-of-one Jack Davis.

Co-accused Northland farmer Neville Dangen, 24 was found not guilty of the same charges.

The jury of six men and six women had heard nearly seven weeks of evidence and started their deliberations in the High Court at Whangarei late this morning.

After returning to court once with a question the jury were ready to deliver their verdicts by 5.45pm.

Crown prosecutor Mike Smith said 30-year-old Mr Davis was kidnapped and "hog tied" before being driven into remote bush where he was murdered with a thistle grubber.

Mr Davis died in bush off the Wairakau Track on February 25, 2011 - a day after he was kidnapped, had his limbs bound together, and kept overnight in a woolshed on a farm belonging to Dangen on Salvation Rd, near Kaeo.

Bracken was found guilty of additional charges of aggravated robbery, assault with intent to injure and unlawfully entering a building, all relating to separate events between January 1 and February 25, 2011.

Mr Dangen was found not guilty on a charge of receiving a boat worth in excess of $1000, between January 1 and February 25, 2011.

Bracken was remanded in custody until November 23 for sentencing while Mr Dangen walked from the court.

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