Brothers guilty in killing

By James Bakerjames baker@wanganuichronicle co nz -
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Kevin Madams
Kevin Madams

The jury returned its verdicts yesterday in the trial of two men accused of murdering Craig Rippon.

In the High Court at Whanganui, Kevin Roy Madams was found guilty of murder and his brother Tyrone Peter Madams guilty of manslaughter.

The two have also been found guilty of participating in a criminal organisation. They will be sentenced on February 3.

Mr Rippon's wife, Kate Rippon, and other family members were present in court as the verdicts were read.

The jury returned its verdicts at 3.30pm, after deliberating for just over 24 hours.

The trial, which began on October 27, was before Justice Jillian Mallon.

In her summing up on Tuesday, Justice Mallon told the jury to put aside feelings of sympathy or prejudice in their decision.

"It is natural to feel for the violent loss of a man in front of his family," she said.

"You may be concerned about gangs in the community. The starting point for everyone is the presumption of innocence."

Earlier in the trial Mathew Thomas Madams and one youth took a lesser plea of manslaughter. They will also be sentenced on February 3.

Another youth was discharged because of a lack of evidence.

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

Mr Rippon, a Black Power leader and a member of the gang from the 1970s, died in hospital after being assaulted in Rimu St, Gonville, on November 8 last year. He was a founder of the award-winning Matipo Development Trust, which helped vulnerable families in Whanganui.

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