Scott Yeoman is a NZ Herald reporter

Motel killing: Victim dazed and bloody, court told

Leonard Nattrass-Berquist (left) and Beauen Wallace-Loretz stand in the dock at the High Court at Auckland at the start of their tria. Photo / Greg Bowker
Leonard Nattrass-Berquist (left) and Beauen Wallace-Loretz stand in the dock at the High Court at Auckland at the start of their tria. Photo / Greg Bowker

Staff at an Auckland motel have described the moment a fatally injured man tried to get help as he bled from a head wound.

Ihaia Gillman-Harris, 54, was allegedly assaulted in his Epsom motel room by Beauen Wallace-Loretz and Leonard Nattrass-Berquist in December 2014.

The pair, both 18, deny murdering Mr Gillman-Harris and have also pleaded not guilty to charges relating to the theft of cash, a cellphone and a bank card, as well as a charge related to the taking of the victim's $15,000 Range Rover.

On the first day of the trial at the High Court at Auckland yesterday, motel staff said they saw Mr Gillman-Harris arrive and check in at the motel that morning, and how about an hour later he was seen outside his room bleeding and talking incoherently.

Jasminder Singh said Mr Gillman-Harris was bleeding from his nose and was trying to wipe the blood away with his arm.

The blood was dripping on to the floor and Mr Gillman-Harris was trying to say something, Mr Singh said, but he could not understand what.

Mr Singh later helped Mr Gillman-Harris to his room and saw a broken laptop, towels and pillows covered in blood, blood on the floor, and a broken glass coffee table and fan. Police were called and an ambulance rushed Mr Gillman-Harris to hospital, where he later died.

The Crown alleges the teenagers planned their attack while being driven around Auckland by Mr Gillman-Harris.

Prosecutor David Johnstone told the jury that the two teens had had "previous dealings" with Mr Gillman-Harris, who picked the pair up in South Auckland early on the morning he died. Mr Johnstone alleged that while driving around Auckland, the teens formed their plan via text message. Part of the text exchange between the teens included the question: "G, should we roll him?" Other text messages suggested the severity of the assault that was going to take place, including the question: "Hospital?" And the answer: "Yeah G, all day."

Mr Johnstone said the teens attacked Mr Gillman-Harris then left the motel in his Range Rover.

Nattrass-Berquist's lawyer Murray Gibson said his client and the other accused were acting in self defence. He told the court Mr Gillman-Harris was a predator who had an ulterior motive with the teens and that he had planned on having a "sexual encounter" with one or both of them.

He alleged Mr Gillman-Harris showed his client pornography on a website and then sexually assaulted him.

During the assault Wallace-Loretz came out of the bathroom. The two teens then tried to fight off the "predator".

The trial, before Justice Kit Toogood, continues today.

- NZ Herald

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