Sandra is a senior crimes and justice reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Crown: Driver had 'murderous intent'

Raymond Green has denied a charge of murder relating to an alleged hit-and-run killing of Ilya Kojevnikov in February 2, 2015. Photo / John Borren
Raymond Green has denied a charge of murder relating to an alleged hit-and-run killing of Ilya Kojevnikov in February 2, 2015. Photo / John Borren

A Papamoa man is on trial defending an allegation that he deliberately mowed down a stranger in an act of retaliation after the deceased tried to kick the car he was driving.

Raymond Green, 33, whose jury trial began in Tauranga High Court yesterday, has denied one count of murder.

Green is accused of murdering 33-year-old Parkvale man Ilya Olegovich Kojevnikov in Welcome Bay Rd on the evening of February 2 last year.

Crown prosecutor Anna Pollett told the jury that Mr Kojevnikov had been struck by the Subaru driven by Green.

The deceased had been drinking home-brew vodka and Raro at an associate's property moments before, and the pair had left the house to go and play pool.

Ms Pollett said as Mr Kojevnikov crossed Welcome Bay Rd he kicked out at the car driven by Green, who he did not know, but the kick did not connect.

However, the "alcohol-fuelled, angry and testosterone-fuelled" defendant, in a deliberate act of retaliation, did a u-turn and drove towards Mr Kojevnikov, striking him.

"An unarmed, unprotected and highly vulnerable Mr Kojevnikov, who attempted to get out of the way had no chance and nowhere to go, and he was killed instantly," Ms Pollett said.

Ms Pollett said the fired up defendant, without a hint of remorse and at lightning speed, drove off and returned to his Papamoa Beach Rd home and began preparing himself a feed.

The defendant also started considering ways to get rid of the car, or repair the damage to evade identification, she said.

Ms Pollett said one witness described the impact sounding like a vehicle hitting a post.

"But it wasn't a post. It was all over for the deceased in a blink of an eye," she said.

Ms Pollett said people started to come out of the house and some tried to revive Mr Kojevnikov but it was too late, as CCTV footage would show.

The jury yesterday was briefly shown CCTV footage of the deceased being struck, flying into air and coming to rest in a driveway a short distance away from where he had been socialising.

CCTV footage also showed Green had earlier taken over the driving from his sober driver at Bayfair Shopping Centre where he bought a box of beers at Countdown.

Ms Pollett said the sober driver would give evidence that Green had ordered him out, saying words to the effect that he would show him and the Subaru owner how the car should be driven.

The Crown says Green acted with murderous intent as he knew the deceased was there and made a conscious decision to go back and deal with him, she said.

Ms Pollett said the speed limit on the road was 60km/h, but an expert witness using CCTV footage calculated the average speed of the Green's return journey at 97km/h.

During the two-week trial, evidence from 30 witnesses would be presented to the jury, she said.

Green's lawyer Tony Rickard-Simms told the jury that the defence's position was that his client never intended to harm anyone.

Mr Rickard-Simms said the CCTV footage showed Mr Kojevnikov making a high karate-style kick at the car, then waving his hands before he moved into the path of the vehicle.

"The Crown has asked you to infer murderous intent but the evidence does not support that suggestion, and Mr Green is adamant Mr Kojevnikov lunged at him and there was no way he could avoid hitting him," he said.

Mr Rickard-Simms urged the jury to suspend judgment until they had heard all the evidence, including from the defence's two expert witnesses.

"The Crown asks you to attribute intent to Mr Green's actions before and after this incident, but people react in different ways when faced by trauma incidents and you have to be careful you don't leap to conclusions."

The High Court trial continues today.

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