'Rameka did not help in attack'

By Melissa Nightingale

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ON TRIAL: Raeleen Rameka stands in the dock during her trial in the High Court at Whanganui.PHOTO/COURT PHOTOGRAPHER
ON TRIAL: Raeleen Rameka stands in the dock during her trial in the High Court at Whanganui.PHOTO/COURT PHOTOGRAPHER

The retrial began yesterday for a Whanganui woman allegedly involved in killing Paul Shane Kumeroa nearly eight years ago after he was mistaken for a Mongrel Mob member.

Raeleen Matewai Noyle Rameka lived with the victim's sister before the killing, for which three other people have been convicted.

She pleaded not guilty to manslaughter at the beginning of the trial in the High Court at Whanganui, before Justice Rebecca Ellis and a jury of six men and five women. One juror was stood down.

Mr Kumeroa was attacked with an axe on September 23, 2008, while walking home in Castlecliff. He died a short time later.

Clarke Jones McCallum and Daniel Craig Rippon were convicted for Mr Kumeroa's murder, while Jamie Ngahuia Ahsin was convicted of manslaughter.

Rameka was with the group when they attacked him, but took no part in the assault.

Her flatmate and the victim's sister, Tiffany Kumeroa-Teua, told the court she saw Rameka earlier in the day, and Rameka told her she was "on the piss".

Crown prosecutor Lance Rowe said Rameka was with McCallum, Rippon, and Ahsin when they were involved in an altercation outside Countdown supermarket. The four were associated with the Black Power gang.

Security footage showed a man chasing McCallum with what appeared to be a claw hammer, and a woman throwing shopping baskets at McCallum. Rameka can be seen standing away from the fight, through a set of automatic doors.

The two attackers were associated with the Mongrel Mob, Detective Simon Te Paki told the court. He said Black Power and the Mongrel Mob were "sworn enemies".

Later in the day there were two more incidents between the group and others they suspected of being connected to the Mongrel Mob.

The incidents were initiated by Rameka's group.

Finally, between 9.45pm and 10pm, a car carrying the four people, driven by Ahsin, pulled up near Mr Kumeroa, who was walking home alone on Cross Street. He was wearing a red hoodie, the colour associated with the Mongrel Mob, though he had no connection with the gang.

McCallum and Rippon attacked him, with McCallum hitting Mr Kumeroa in the head with an axe-like object.

"Mr Kumeroa suffered a serious skull fracture from this attack and died two days later in hospital," Mr Rowe told the jury.

"In Raeleen Rameka's case, the Crown says that she shared a common intention with the others to assault or intimidate persons they considered to be associated with the Mongrel Mob.

"Ms Rameka didn't physically carry out the attack, but she knew - as a member of that group - that Mr Kumeroa could well be killed when attacked in accordance with that common intention."

Defence lawyer Elizabeth Hall said Rameka did not share this common intention, and emphasised she did not participate or help with the assault.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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