A jury has found a Northland duo guilty of lying to police to protect a gang member from being investigated in connection with the death of a Kaitaia man.

It took the jury in the High Court at Whangarei on Monday six hours to return the guilty verdicts on Gregory Mark Comer, 58, and his son Gregory Matthew Comer, 18.

Gregory Mark Comer was charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and being an accessory after the fact to murder while his son faced a single charge of being an accessory after the fact to murder.

Gregory Mark Comer has been found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice and being an accessory after the fact to murder. PHOTO/JOHN STONE
Gregory Mark Comer has been found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice and being an accessory after the fact to murder. PHOTO/JOHN STONE
Gregory Matthew Comer has been found guilty of being an accessory after the fact to murder. PHOTO/JOHN STONE</note>
Gregory Matthew Comer has been found guilty of being an accessory after the fact to murder. PHOTO/JOHN STONE

The charges were laid after the death of Lee Rata who was fatally wounded by a group of people, including members of the Mongrel Mob gang, after an argument on Bonnets Rd in Kaitaia on new Year's Eve 2015.

Advertisement

Mongrel Mob gang member Christopher Manuel got married earlier that day and he was one of those that have admitted chasing and killing Mr Rata.

Justice Paul Davison said although it was up to each jury member what evidence he or she accepted or rejected, their verdicts must be unanimous.

However, Justice Davison said sometimes a majority verdict was allowed which still required 11 of the 12 jury members to agree.

He said their focus when they retired should be on reaching a unanimous verdict.

After the jury had retired, defence lawyer Wayne McKean said in his summing up the judge incorrectly referred to his client Gregory Mark Comer as president of the New Zealand chapter of the Mongrel Mob gang.

The jury was called back into court and told Comer senior was nothing beyond being a patched member.

Comer senior is remanded in custody while his son is on bail.

Both will be sentenced on December 18.

Christopher Manuel, 36, and Lester Pairama, 17, have pleaded guilty to a downgraded charge to the manslaughter of Mr Rata and another of aggravated robbery.

Juanita Rafael Wilcox, 26, and Joseph Martin, 41, admitted to one charge of being an accessory after the fact to murder.

Manuel and Martin also pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

They will be sentenced on December 1.