Retrial for woman implicated in gang death

Raeleen Rameka high court retrial begins. Photo / Bevan Conley
Raeleen Rameka high court retrial begins. Photo / Bevan Conley

The retrial for a Whanganui woman allegedly involved in the killing of Paul Shane Kumeroa in 2008 began today.

Raeleen Matewai Noyle Rameka pleaded not guilty to manslaughter at the beginning of the trial in the High Court at Whanganui, before Justice Rebecca Ellis and a jury of six men and five women. One juror was stood down.

Mr Kumeroa was attacked with an axe on September 23, 2008 while walking home in Castlecliff and died a short time after the attack.

Crown prosecutor Lance Rowe said Rameka was part of a group of Black Power-connected people involved in an altercation outside Countdown supermarket earlier in the day.

Rameka -- along with Daniel Craig Rippon, Jamie Ngahuia Ahsin, Clarke Jones McCallum, plus one other person -- were intimidated during an argument with two Mongrel Mob members.

Later in the day, there were two more incidents between the group and others they suspected of being Mongrel Mob members. Both incidents were initiated by the group of four.

Finally, between 9.45pm and 10pm, a car carrying the four people and driven by Ahsin pulled up near Mr Kumeroa as he was walking home alone on Cross Street after an argument with his partner.

He was wearing a red top, the colour associated with the Mongrel Mob, though he had no personal association with the gang.

McCallum and Rippon got out of the car and began punching and kicking him, before McCallum took an axe-like weapon from the car and hit Mr Kumeroa twice in the head.

The pair tried to drag Mr Kumeroa towards the car, gave up, took off his red shirt, and left the scene. Rameka later showed up to a party.

"Mr Kumeroa suffered a serious skull fracture from this attack and died two days later in hospital," Mr Rowe told the jury.

McCallum and Rippon were convicted of Mr Kumeroa's murder, while Ahsin was convicted of his manslaughter.

"In Raeleen Rameka's case, the Crown says that she shared a common intention with the others to assault or intimidate persons that they considered to be associated with the Mongrel Mob.

"Ms Rameka didn't physically carry out the attack, but she knew as a member of that group that Mr Kumeroa could well be killed when attacked in accordance with that common intention."

Defence lawyer Elizabeth Hall said Rameka did not share this common intention, and emphasised she did not participate or help with the assault.

"Being in the car is not enough to be guilty in this case," Ms Hall said.

- NZ Herald

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