Killing followed argument

By Melissa Nightingale

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Raeleen Matewai Noyle Rameka was part of a group intimidating people they believed to be Mongrel Mob associates in the evening before Paul Kumeroa's murder, a court has heard.

Mr Kumeroa was walking home through Castlecliff on September 23, 2008, wearing a red hoodie - the colour connected to the Mongrel Mob - when two men Rameka was with attacked him. He died in hospital two days later.

The attackers, Clarke Jones McCallum and Daniel Craig Rippon, were convicted of murder, while Jamie Ngahuia Ahsin, who was driving the car they were in, was convicted of manslaughter.

The Crown says while Rameka did not join in the attack, she shared a "common intention" with the others.

The group, who were connected to Black Power, had a run-in with Mongrel Mob associates earlier in the afternoon.

Mr Kumeroa's murder was the last of three incidents that day which the Crown says were gang-related.

Witness Dylan Ranginui told Justice Rebecca Ellis in the High Court at Whanganui yesterday that the group pulled up in a vehicle beside his car at the North Mole that evening.

The front passenger was wearing a balaclava and waving a knife out the window.

"He was just asking me if I was a dog ... said he was going to stab me in the head," Mr Ranginui said.

He understood the term "dog" to be Black Power slang for Mongrel Mob associates.

Jessey Ranginui, who was also in Dylan Ranginui's car, said he recognised Rameka and heard her yelling gang slogans in an aggressive tone.

Defence lawyer Christopher Stevenson suggested the incident actually came about because Rameka's group suspected Jessey Ranginui of being involved in something unrelated.

"He was saying to Jessey, 'I f***ing know you c***,'" Mr Stevenson suggested to witness Kylie Maiden.

Ms Maiden and Jessey Ranginui disagreed, but Dylan Ranginui said he did hear the balaclava-clad man say it.

Another time that day, Rameka arrived with her group at Gibbons Cres when she recognised Andrew Pomana, who she accused of breaking her jaw. Witness Vincent Tipu said Rameka tried to pull Mr Pomana out of a car and was yelling "dog shit" at him, another term used for Mongrel Mob associates.

Defence lawyer Elizabeth Hall pointed out Tipu had approximately 50 alcoholic drinks that day and questioned the accuracy of his memory.

She pointed to his police statement, which described Rameka as "white". Rameka has brown skin.

Mr Tipu insisted Rameka had been white at the time, and had changed her skin colour not long after the incident.

Ms Hall suggested Rameka did not say anything except that Mr Pomana had broken her jaw, and did not try to pull him out of the car.

Mr Tipu disagreed.

Mr Pomana told the court yesterday he "didn't even know if she realised it was me, to be honest" and said Rameka never said anything to or about him that he heard.

But he accepted he said in a police statement from that day Rameka recognised him and told the others about their previous run-in.

Mr Pomana said he could not remember the incident properly.

Ms Hall suggested Mr Pomana's memory might have been tainted by Mr Tipu's input when he made the police statement.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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