Neighbour says she saw fatal attack on gang leader Craig Rippon

By James Baker -
Craig Rippon.
Craig Rippon.

From her kitchen window, a witness at the High Court in Whanganui told the jury yesterday she saw Craig Rippon attacked "with rage, with anger, with force".

Tyrone Peter Madams, Matthew Thomas Madams, Kevin Roy Madams and two youths are charged with the murder of Mr Rippon, 57, in Whanganui on November 8, 2015.

They are also charged with participating in a criminal organisation. They have denied the charges.

Margaret Payton, a neighbour of Mr Rippon, told the Crown she saw a scuffle on the lawn of the Rimu St property earlier in the day.

"I noticed two young men being held back."

"[Mr Rippon] was yelling at them to settle down and calm down," she said. "I heard one of them yell out, 'Look what you did to my old man'."

Ms Patton said that some time after the incident she heard a vehicle "scream" up outside.

Two men got out of the vehicle, each with a weapon in hand.

She said Mr Rippon approached the two men and began talking to them, when one of the men struck him over the head with a spade.

"He staggered and fell down. The other person with the crowbar swung it straight down.

He didn't get up from that," she said.

Each of the men struck Mr Rippon at least three times, but Ms Patton said she collapsed to the floor and lost count.

"They took turns swinging it. I tried counting it, but I couldn't."

During this time she attempted to call emergency services but says she was very emotionally distraught.

"I'm not even sure if I was speaking properly," she said.

Another witness, who cannot be named, told the Crown he became aware of a group of men entering the property.

"I could hear glass breaking."

He confronted what appeared to be the driver of the group, who remained outside by the vehicle.

According to the witness, the driver was almost apologetic.

"He said, 'Sorry, mate, sorry'."

At that point he was threatened by a young man with a steel pole.

"He said, 'Come on, motherf*****r, you and me, one on one'."

The group left shortly after. The witness entered the property to assist. He found Mr

Rippon lying on the ground, being held by his son.

"From what I saw of his injuries, my first reaction was 'Oh, this bloke's in a bit of trouble'," he said.

The trial began on October 27 before Justice Jillian Mallon and continues tomorrow. It is expected to last four weeks.

In June, Tyrone William Madams pleaded guilty to Mr Rippon's murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

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