The Papamoa man accused of killing a Russian national on a Tauranga road pleaded guilty to manslaughter yesterday.

Raymond Green, 33, had been on trial facing a murder charge following the death of 33-year-old Ilya Olegovich Kojevnikov on Welcome Bay Rd.

Mr Kojevnikov died after being hit by a car driven by Green on February 22 last year.

Green, who appeared in Tauranga High Court yesterday, admitted manslaughter after Crown prosecutor Anna Pollock sought leave from Justice Christian Whata to amend the murder charge.


The defence had been set to open its case yesterday, when the Crown made the application to amend the charge.

Green earlier pleaded guilty to two further charges - driving while disqualified and refusing an enforcement officer's request to provide a blood sample, which relate to the same incident.

The Bay of Plenty Times can now reveal those earlier convictions after the interim suppression orders were lifted by Justice Whata.

The matter will be re-called in Tauranga High Court on March 1, when a sentencing date will be confirmed.

Green's lawyer Tony Rickard-Simms said his client was willing to participate in a restorative justice meeting with the victims of his offending, and did not seek bail.

Green was remanded in custody by Justice Whata, who called for a full pre-sentence report and restorative justice conference report.

Before retiring, Justice Whata addressed family and supporters of the victim seated in the public gallery.

"I wish to extend my sympathies to members of the family.

"I appreciate this has been a harrowing experience for you, and a very difficult time for all of you," he said.