Head Hunter trial: Businessman explains dealings with 'Sandwich'

Photo / File
Photo / File

A businessman pulled out of talks with a man known as "Sandwich" to make his problems disappear when he made a multi-million dollar demand, a court has been told.

The exact nature of his problems have not been specified in the High Court at Rotorua where nine men, who are either Head Hunter gang members or associates, are on trial for a raft of offending including kidnapping the businessman, his young employee and attempting to extort cars and properties from the former.

Lawyers acting for the defendants have referred to the businessman's involvement with a man called "Sandwich" and his role as a middleman acting on behalf of the businessman.

The businessman, who has name suppression, said there had been negotiations between the pair after a sexual misadventure aboard a boat with a gang member's girlfriend and prior to an armed invasion at his lake property.

He said he'd elicited help from a friend to "facilitate a resolution to his problems" and he'd paid him $10,000.

"I guess it was a token of my appreciation that they were going to put themselves at risk to go in to bat for me," the businessman said.

It was this person who introduced him to "Sandwich" and while money wasn't mentioned at the first meeting later it became evident payment was required, the businessman said.

"The suggestion being made was totally unrealistic and quite unsatisfactory to us so it was 'thanks but no thanks'," he told the jury.

He said the sum mentioned was a couple of million dollars or assets to that value, and resulted in his ties with "Sandwich" being severed.

The businessman has spent three and a half days appearing via video link from a remote location giving testimony.

On trial are Benjamin Paul, Dwyer, 28, Stephen William Daly, 33, Jordan Alexander Christian, 21, David Peter Clark, 36, Brent Anthony Gunning, 37, Liam John Kane, 24, Matthew John McDonnell, 45, Stacy Walton Dennis Paora, 29 and Sam Wiremu Rolleston 23.

They have pleaded not guilty to more than 100 charges laid either separately or jointly.

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