Guilty plea over gang leader's death

By Melissa Nightingale -
Craig Rippon died in hospital after being assaulted at a Rimu St address.Photo / Stuart Munro
Craig Rippon died in hospital after being assaulted at a Rimu St address.Photo / Stuart Munro

One of six people accused of murdering Whanganui man Craig Rippon has pleaded guilty and apologised in court.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to, I'm f***ing sorry," the man said after pleading guilty in the High Court at Whanganui this morning.

In between hanging his head, the man shot glances at Mr Rippon's widow and two other family members, seated in the gallery.

When he left the courtroom, the man backed out of the dock, keeping his eyes on the group.

Five other males appeared earlier and pleaded not guilty to jointly murdering Mr Rippon, as well as a charge of participation in a criminal organisation.

All six people have interim name suppression.

Mr Rippon, a Black Power leader, died in hospital after being assaulted at a Rimu St address on November 8.

The man -- who appeared this morning before Justice Simon France via audio-visual link -- was remanded to a sentencing date on June 17.

The rest of the defendants were remanded to a callover date. There is a trial set for October 25.

One defendant was remanded on bail, while the rest were in custody.

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