Five men accused of manslaughter and kidnapping over the death of an Auckland woman who fell from the boot of a moving car have been found guilty.
Jindarat Prutsiriporn, 50, died in hospital two days after falling from the car's boot and hitting her head on the road as it sped off from traffic lights in the suburb of Papatoetoe in March last year.
Eleven people were arrested following her death and six have been on trial, facing manslaughter and kidnapping charges, the rest earlier pleading guilty to their parts.
Following two days of deliberations and 10-weeks of evidence, a jury at the High Court in Auckland today found Seng Lek Liev, Apichart Korhomklang and Luigi Havea guilty of one charge of manslaughter and one of kidnapping each.
Tafito Vaifale and Joseph Haurua were also found guilty of manslaughter. They had earlier pleaded guilty to kidnapping Prutsiriporn.
Tevita Fangupo was found not guilty of kidnapping by a majority jury vote of 11 to one.
• Sen Lek Liev - guilty of manslaughter and kidnapping
• Aphichart Korhomklang - guilty of manslaughter and kidnapping
• Luigi Havea - guilty of manslaughter and kidnapping
• Tafito Vaifale - guilty of manslaughter and earlier pleaded guilty to kidnapping
• Joseph Benjamin Haurua - guilty of manslaughter and earlier pleaded guilty to kidnapping
• Tevita Matangi Fangupo - not guilty of kidnapping
Outiside court, Detective Senior Sergeant Shaun Vickers, the officer in charge of the case, told media it had been a "very long and complex investigation, and a very long trial".
He said police were continuing to help Prutsiriporn's family.
The jury had ruled in favour of the Crown's evidence, led by prosecutor Gareth Kayes, who said Liev was the man who had decided to kidnap Prutsiriporn.
Kayes told the jury police investigations couldn't establish why Liev kidnapped Prutsiriporn, although there was "certainly bad blood".
Liev then contacted the east chapter of the Head Hunters gang, specifically a group called the ghost unit.
"They were Mr Liev's hired muscle," Kayes said.
The ghost unit first tried to kidnap Prutsiriporn on February 15, 2016.
Members of the group had waited outside the house where Prutsiriporn lived with her son and his wife on Alfred St, Onehunga.
Then a few days later at 8pm on February 29, Korhomklang and others went to Prutsiriporn's home where they planned to lure her into their car.
At about 8.50pm, Prutsiriporn came out of her house and got into the back of the black ute.
"Its at that point the Crown says the ghost unit struck," Kayes told the jury.
A black Toyota Isis quickly arrived and the crew bundled her into the back of it.
"Don't scream or try anything or else I will shoot you. If you try anything I know where your family lives and we'll hit them," Prutsiriporn was told.
She was then held in the ute for several hours by Haurua and Vaifale, but as the next day arrived Haurua worried about what to do with her.
"Be best for us to move ASAP while it's still dark," a text message sent from Hauraua to his associates said.
Prutsiriporn was then moved to Haurua's house, where she was tied with a torn-up sheet, but as text messages show Prutsiriporn was beginning to struggle in what may have been a desperate attempt to escape.
"Baby you have anyone that you know that we could use for a couple of hours to hide this f***head?" Haurua texted his girlfriend.
The ghost unit then moved her again to Korhomklang's house in Mangere.
"Package delivered," a text message at 10am on March 1 from a ghost unit member said, before Prutsiriporn spent most of the day tied up in a garage.
Meanwhile, Liev was trying to organise to move Prutsiriporn again.
At about 5pm she was loaded into another car, bound, tied and in the boot.
However, while there she found a knife which she hid it down her trousers, she also found a chef's steel.
In her dramatic and ultimately tragic bid to escape, Prutsiriporn used the chef's steel to open the boot while the car stopped at traffic lights on Huia Rd, Papatoetoe.
She was thrown from the car.
Barely breathing and foaming at the mouth with ties around her neck, waist and ankles witnesses found her barely alive.
She died in hospital two days later.
Prutsiriporn had been involved in drugs, had served time for importing methamphetamine and was on active charges at the time of her death.
Herald investigations last year found she came to New Zealand seeking a better life, before she fell victim to drug addiction, debt and dealing.
She was a mother of three and known to her friends as "Nui".
- With NZN / AAP