Stephanie is the Rotorua Daily Post's education and lifestyle reporter.

Stop-go murder trial: Jeep found at home of man with gang connections

Quinton Paul Winders. PHOTO/FILE
Quinton Paul Winders. PHOTO/FILE

A Jeep Cherokee with what appeared to be a new number plate was found by police at the Taupo home of a man with Mongrel Mob connections, a court has heard.

Detective Sergeant Miriam Reddington and another officer went to the address in 2013 as part of the investigation into the death of stop-go worker, George Taiaroa.

Today she gave evidence in the High Court at Rotorua where Stratford man Quinton Winders is on trial for murder.

When cross-examined by Winders' lawyer, Jonathan Temm, Ms Reddington confirmed a dark-coloured Jeep was found at the address of a man they were sent to question.

She said the vehicle was dark green and confirmed photos were taken of the vehicle on the day.

Mr Temm commented that the number plate did not seem to be "standard issue" and that it "appeared to have been a replacement for something that was not there before".

When asked, Ms Reddington said she was not aware the man at the address had some affiliation with the Mongrel Mob.

Other witnesses this morning included Winders' neighbours, Aaron and Amanda Harris, New Plymouth panelbeater Kevin Davis and Ken Findlay, a Farmlands manager.

Mr and Mrs Harris gave evidence about seeing Winders on March 18, 2013, closing a trailer on the side of the road near his farm on the outskirts of Stratford.

After learning of Mr Taiaroa's death, Mrs Harris rang the police on March 29 to say her neighbour had a blue Jeep Cherokee.

Mr Davis was questioned about Winders' Cherokee that was brought to him for repairs in February 2013.

Mr Davis said the vehicle had been brought to him on a tow truck. He was told it had hit a bank and the "left, front was smashed up".

Mr Findlay gave evidence on the four Farmlands accounts held by Max Winders, father of the accused.

Of those accounts, the fourth is under "care of Quinton".

When questioned by Mr Temm, Mr Findlay confirmed there was no record of ammunition purchases between 2009 and 2013 on the Farmland accounts.

The trial continues.

Earlier:
The trial of Quinton Winders, the man accused of murdering stop-go worker George Taiaroa, will continue today with evidence about his actions before the shooting.

Winders, 45, pleaded not guilty in December last year to the murder of Taiaroa, 65, who was shot dead while operating a stop-go sign at roadworks in Atiamuri, north of Taupo, in 2013.

For more articles from this region, go to

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 10 Dec 2016 04:34:07 Processing Time: 528ms