The crown has alleged that the death of Flaxmere man Kelly Donner "kicked off over nothing".

14 year old Haami Hanara is standing trial in the Napier High Court after pleading not guilty to a murder charge and guilty to a burglary charge.

Crown prosecutor Steve Manning addressed the jury there was no background to the trial other than what happened on the night of March 4.

"We are here because of the death of a man whose body was found on the ground behind the Flaxmere tavern. He had bled to death because he had been stabbed in the neck severing his carotid artery.

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Manning described the alleged stabbing as "reckless."

The crown described Kelly Donner as "kind" and "harmless".

"He based himself around the Flaxmere village. He was a man who helped other people. He cleaned up trolleys for the supermarket or helped take laundry to people's car."

On March 4 Hanara, along with four other youths were planning to break into the Flax Tavern in Flaxmere to get alcohol. One had a wrench, a bag, balaclavas to cover their identity, it is alleged.

"There were originally two groups, they met up before 10.30pm all planned on the street to go into the rear yard area around the bottle store.

"As it happens a CCTV camera was operating, as that area had been burgled the night before, but there was no suggestion anyone in this case was involved. The CCTV was operating up until one of the young people with Hanara smashed it."

Manning said Hanara and four friends entered the yard, but unbeknown to them, Donner was already there, he had a backpack with him which he always carried.

"He was looking for and collecting cigarette butts, but there was no suggestion he was involved in the burglary.

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"Mr Donner had a torch and they asked if they could borrow it. We don't know about timing. But we do know that Mr Donner wanted his torch back and didn't get it, he got angry. At some point after that he was attacked, he had a beer bottle smashed over his face. All five people attacked him with beer bottles, fence palings.

Donner climbed up onto a orange wheelie bin to escape the attack, before jumping from the yard. The youths followed him armed with beer bottles and concrete and a bicycle, all of which they threw at him.

"The defendant, was wearing a red hoodie, a black sleeveless leather vest, with red and white piece of fabric sewn on.

"Donner recognised that he was in trouble and backed off.

"The defendant goes behind a block wall, then comes out and has a knife in his hand. As Donner turns his back, the crown says to retreat, the defendant followed him."

"Mr Hanara had a knife, he used a knife to stab him not once but twice, he either meant to cause Mr Donner's death or cause injury which was likely to end in death.

"The defendant followed Mr Donner who was retreating, jumped on him and stabbed him four times, twice in the left side of his neck, once in chest and then shoulder."

Haami Hanara, who was 14 years, two months and one week old at the time of the death of Kelly Donner in Flaxmere on March 4 this year, began his defence at the High Court in Napier this morning, accused of murdering Donner.

Defence Counsel Eric Forster did not wish to make an opening statement to the court.

The trial continues.