A teenager jailed for life for brutally murdering a Flaxmere man when he was 14 has escaped from a Youth Justice facility - and has been on the run for 24 hours.

The Herald can reveal that Haami Hanara took off from a facility in South Auckland with another youth offender last night.

Police are warning the public he is considered dangerous and should not be approached.

They say he has known friends and family in Counties Manukau, Hamilton, Flaxmere, Hastings, Whakatäne and Whanganui.

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Police are warning people not to approach Haami Hanara who is on the run and considered dangerous. Photo / Supplied
Police are warning people not to approach Haami Hanara who is on the run and considered dangerous. Photo / Supplied

Oranga Tamariki - who manage the facility where Hanara was being held - are refusing to answer questions about how the murderer managed to escape, and why it took more than 24 hours to alert the public.

In February last year Hanara - who had turned 15 on Christmas Day 2018 - was jailed for life with a minimum non parole period of 10 years for murdering Kelly Donner, 40.

A High Court jury heard how Hanara stabbed Donner four times with a knife - twice in the neck and once in the chest and another time in the shoulder - on March 4, 2018.

One of the blows proved fatal, severing the 40-year-old's carotid artery and leaving him dying, alone, in a pool of his own blood.

Tonight the Herald was tipped off that Hanara had absconded from Korowai Manaaki in South Auckland which houses up to 40 young people at any given time.

Oranga Tamariki have failed to answer a series of questions posed by the Herald tonight, including how and when the teen killer escaped, whether Donner's family have been told and what specifically is being dong to find the young criminals.

Instead, a short statement was provided.

"Oranga Tamariki is working with the police to determine how two teenage boys were able to escape from youth justice residence Korowai Manaaki on Saturday evening," said Ben Hannifin, general manager of Youth Justice Services

"We will be working further with police to return the teenagers into our care.
 
"The facility was fully staffed at the time."

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Flaxmere man Kelly Donner was murdered in 2018 by a 14-year-old. Photo / Supplied
Flaxmere man Kelly Donner was murdered in 2018 by a 14-year-old. Photo / Supplied

The murder of Kelly Donner

Donner, who preferred to "sleep rough" was well known around the Flaxmere Village and would often clean supermarket trolleys, help people with their shopping or carried laundry to their car.

He was known as "kind and humble man" to those who knew him.

On March 4, near 10.20pm, Hanara and four other teenagers entered an enclosed yard of the Flaxmere Tavern in a bid to steal alcohol.

Donner happened to be in the yard looking for cigarette butts and loaned Hanara his torch which he passed to another associate in order to hot wire a car, parked in the yard.

Donner eventually asked for his torch back but when but when the teenager refused, Donner became angry.

An attack escalated, and a beer bottle was smashed in Donner's face.

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He escaped the yard and ran out behind the tavern where the attack continued.

Glass bottles, pieces of wood and even chunks of concrete and a bicycle were thrown at Donner who also armed himself with bottles to retaliate against the youths before retreating.

The court heard that Hanara hid in the shadows until Donner turned his back and walked away.

It was then the teenager followed him, stabbing him four times before he and the rest of the youths "stomped punched and kicked him" while he was lying on the ground before they all fled.

At Hanara's sentencing his lawyer told the court the teen - who had turned 15 on Christmas Day 2018 - had alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder, ADHD and a mental impairment.

He also came from a "disadvantaged background", growing up in a family that had strong gang loyalties where gang behaviour was prioritised.

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