A neighbour of Craig Rippon told the Crown in the Wanganui High Court yesterday that she saw a man "covered in blood" at the Rimu St property.

Tyrone Peter Madams, Matthew Thomas Madams, Kevin Roy Madams, and two youths are charged with the murder of Craig Rippon, 57, and with participating in a criminal organisation on November 8.

They have denied the charges.

Lynette Dickinson, a neighbour of Craig and Kate Rippon, said she saw Mr Rippon attempt to calm down some young men on his front yard earlier in the day.


"He said, 'Come on, boys, that's enough'."

"One of the boys said, 'Look what you've done, look what you've done to my dad'."

She recalled a car "screech" up some time after.

A young man left the vehicle, wearing a black shirt with white writing. She said it was possible he was holding a crowbar.

"I thought, 'Oh my God you're so young'."

"I looked at my 13 year-old grandson and I thought, 'He looks like a boy'."

"He kicked the gate in, and I heard smashing," she said.

According to Ms Dickinson, at some point she saw a man on the lawn of the property but could not recognise him as Mr Rippon.

"He had greyish black hair and a face covered in blood.

"He looked like a red Indian," she said.

She could not see the assault, as she was busy trying to stop a curious grandson leaving the house.

She waited until the group left, then, as a trained nurse, went to the Rimu St property to help.

"There wasn't any assistance I could give [Mr Rippon]," she said.

Ms Dickinson recalled Mr Rippon as a soft-spoken man. She gave "veges and firewood" to him and his wife on occasion.

The court heard accounts from medical personnel, including paramedics who were at the scene. They described severe injuries to Mr Rippon that included heavy bleeding and a broken jaw.

"It would be surprising if the patient survived," one said.

Mr Rippon arrived at Wanganui Hospital at 7pm and died at 7.15pm.

In June, Tyrone William Madams pleaded guilty to Mr Rippon's murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

The trial began on October 27 and continues tomorrow.

It is expected to last four weeks.