Three long-time gang members from Hawke's Bay have been sentenced to jail terms of more than 10 years for the killing of a fellow gang member, also from Hawke's Bay.
The sentences were imposed when Mongrel Mob Aotearoa Manawatu chapter president and former Hawke's Bay Unicorns rugby league representative Jeremiah Christopher Su'a, 50, brother Mariota Su'a, 45, and Quentin Joseph Moananui, also 45, appeared in the High Court in Palmerston North on Friday.
Denying murder and other charges, the trio was found guilty of the manslaughter of Codi Jarmen Wilkinson, who was 27 and a father, who died almost two years ago.
Jeremiah Su'a was sentenced to 15 years, six months; Mariota Su'a to 12 years, nine months, and Moananui to 10 years, two months.
The victim's hacked body was found on a property at Bunnythorpe, near Palmerston North and between Ashhurst and Feilding on September 27, 2019.
At a 12-week trial which ended in May, the three had also been found guilty on a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm relating to injuries to second victim Kyle Rowe, who despite his injuries escaped after an attack the prosecution said started on September 12 – a fortnight before the body was found.
Moananui was also found guilty on two charges of kidnapping, as driver of the vehicle taking the injured men from the scene of the assault in Ashhurst.
The attack was sparked by the gang leader's rage after Wilkinson and Rowe were said to have robbed a drug leader linked to the chapter leadership.
Justice Helen Cull, who presided over the trial, on Friday recognised the trio's "dysfunctional" backgrounds in Hawke's Bay where they had joined the gang for senses of community and support, which she took into account by a discount of 15 per cent from the starting point she used for determining the sentences.
Wilkinson's grandfather, Napier man Wayne Ewington said his grandson was "tortured, bashed, cut, dumped and left to die alone," and the family left "empty, sad and drained", living a "life sentence" of their own, needing counselling to cope with what had happened.
His daughter, Kara, said Codi had been her first son, his brutal death leaving her feeling like her own heart had been "ripped away."
The ordeal through the courts is not over, with two men due to reappear for a callover next month for possible setting of a date for them to be retried, after the first jury was unable to agree on their verdicts.