Raymond and James Fleet's mother and grandmother angrily denounced the man who played a role in their deaths in an emotion-charged victim impact statement.

Reading it in the High Court at Rotorua today, Georgina Fleet emphasised that the pair's horrific murders had left their family and friends with heartache they had never recovered from.

"They didn't deserve to be beaten to death, they suffered intense pain, their injuries were horrendous," the grieving woman told Richard Te Kani, accusing him of being a coward.

Te Kani, 30, had earlier pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of both men, being an accessory after the fact of murder, manufacturing methamphetamine and four unrelated charges of neglecting children.


Justice Paul Davison QC sentenced him to a total of 15 years imprisonment and did not impose a minimum period of imprisonment, which means he's not eligible to apply for parole before his full sentence is served.

Georgina Fleet said she wonders every day if she hadn't answered the door when someone knocked on it looking for James Fleet if he would still be alive. "It's a terrible feeling," she said.

She also referred to "her men's" bodies being left like trash, telling Te Kani she was glad he was to be punished.

"This has taken a huge toll on our family, we will always love them," she said.

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Justice Davison referred to a large number of other victim impact statements he had received from members of the Fleet family and close friends expressing their profound sense of loss.

He described their grief as heart wrenching and extended his sincere sympathies to them, many of whom were in the public gallery to witness Te Kani's sentencing.

He told them how aware he was that their pain extended well beyond today and directed their "powerful and brave statements" be provided to Te Kani for him to reflect on.


Outlining the circumstances that led to the Fleets' deaths, Justice Davison noted although Te Kani had been involved in taking them to remote Cecil Rd in Mamaku, he'd left before they were fatally attacked.

Earlier on day they died, August 7 last year, Te Kani had also been involved in Raymond Fleet and his son Darius being taken to the same area because members of the Mangu Kaha chapter of the Black Power gang believed they had been ripped off over a methamphetamine manufacturing enterprise that hadn't delivered the amount expected.

Georgina Fleet left the court when Justice Davison referred to the brutal way the men had died – by being beaten over their heads with something consistent with being a spade and Raymond Fleet being run over by a 4x4.

Justice Davison stressed Te Kani was being sentenced on manslaughter, not murder charges, because he hadn't intended for the Fleets to die.

"The assaults on them went much further than he intended," he said.

However once Te Kani learnt of their deaths, he had ordered Mikaere James Hura, 21, and Zen Pulemoana, 27, to dispose of their bodies in bush and cover them with blackberry and scrub.

Earlier this month Pulemoana was found guilty of murdering James Fleet and guilty of Raymond Fleet's manslaughter. The jury found Hura guilty of the manslaughter of both men. They are to be sentenced next month.

The principal offender, Martin Hone, was jailed for life in October for murdering both men, charges he admitted.

During sentencing Justice Davison reiterated James Fleet had been killed because he'd witnessed his uncle's murder and described both men as being loved and having their lives cut short.

Crown prosecutor Duncan McWilliam said although Te Kani wasn't present when the brutality was inflicted on the Fleets in a situation that spun out of control, he would have been aware of the potential for the violence to become fatal, which made him culpable for the crime.

"He was not just a driver, let alone a reluctant one."

Te Kani's pre-sentence report contained mixed opinions about his remorse and sorrow for the victims' families.

He too reiterated James Fleet had been in the wrong place and the wrong tine.

Te Kani's lawyer, Andy Schulze, accepted Te Kani had been involved in taking the Fleets into the bush but emphasised things had been relatively calm until Hone arrived, saying Te Kani had attempted to diffuse the situation.

Te Kani did not accept allegations he was the gang boss or that the men be taken away for violence to be meted out.

They had gone into the bush to search for missing methamphetamine manufacturing -related material.

Schulze argued Te Kani's remorse was evident and he had written a letter to the court saying so.

At the Crown's request Justice Davison withdrew two charges of threatening to kill.