A 14-year-old had attacked a man before telling youths nearby "I stabbed him - run", a High Court jury has been told.

The evidence was given by a witness today in the High Court in Napier.

Haami Hanara, 14, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Flaxmere man Kelly Donner and is on trial before Justice Peter Churchman.

The trial started on Monday and was expected to last two weeks.

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The Crown alleged Hanara fatally stabbed Donner, 40, after an argument over a torch in the Flaxmere Tavern yard on March 4.

Four other youths who attacked Donner alongside Hanara were charged with grievous bodily harm.

One of the youths gave evidence today via audio visual link.

Kelly Donner died outside the Flaxmere Tavern on March 4.
Kelly Donner died outside the Flaxmere Tavern on March 4.

The youth, who has name suppression, told Crown prosecutor Steve Manning that three of the group planned to steal alcohol from a Flaxmere bottlestore after it closed on March 4.

On the way, they met Hanara, who was with another youth.

The group broke into the Flaxmere Tavern yard through a wooden fence where they came across Donner, who was searching for cigarette butts.

"Haami asked [Donner] for the torch. He [Haami] was looking for stuff so he could go and do the bottle store," the witness said.

When the torch wasn't returned Donner "got angry as".

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"He just said 'give me my torch back' and Haami said 'nah' and Kelly got more aggressive.

"Kelly got hit by a bottle first. Twenty seconds after he asked for the torch back he got hit in the back of the head."

The witness did not know who struck Donner first, because it was dark.

"He got angry and started grabbing his own bottles.

"He was on top of the wheelie bin. He was throwing bottles at us, we were dodging them."

Donner then jumped down and escaped from the tavern yard, sometimes referred to as the "caged area", through the broken fence and the group followed him.

The witness said Donner advanced towards them and they responded by throwing bottles, bricks and a bicycle.

Donner ended up on the ground with Hanara punching his "neck and shoulders", but the witness did not see a knife at that time, the court heard.

The youths then joined Hanara and starting hitting Donner who was lying on the ground on his back.

"Blood was all over his head, like heaps," the witness said.

After the final attack the youths moved towards the picnic table with Hanara last to join them.

Manning asked the witness if Hanara was holding anything when he approached them.

"A knife. There was blood on it.

"He [Hanara] said that he stabbed him and we should run."

Haami Hanara in the dock on Monday. Photo / Pool
Haami Hanara in the dock on Monday. Photo / Pool

Defence counsel Eric Forster asked the witness if Hanara was "the littlest" of the group - the witness said he was.

Forster asked if Donner "picked on" Hanara because he was the smallest.

"It's like he just wanted to pick on Haami and not the rest of us," the witness replied.

Forster asked if Donner directed attention towards Hanara during the fight - the witness said no.

Manning asked the witness if Donner had harmed Hanara while they were in the yard.

"Kelly hadn't done anything to anyone. After he got hit the first time, he got a hiding inside the caged area," the witness said.

"There were five of us and one of him."