A Waikato gang leader charged over the death of a Ngaruawahia man found at McLaren Falls, says he only intended to "blacken his eyes" and didn't want him dead.

Leon Colin Wilson's DVD interview with police was played to the jury in the High Court at Hamilton on the sixth day of the trial over the death of Mitchell Paterson on July 13, last year.

Wilson told detectives how he had never met Paterson and only agreed to talk to him after being hounded by his "so-called" friends who kept going "on and on and on" about an audio recording Paterson had made, mocking him.

Wilson, who denies charges of manslaughter, kidnapping and conspiring to defeat the course of justice, is on trial alongside Chloe Nardiah Leigh Kerridge and Christopher Ramia Smith, 34.

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Defence counsel for Leon Colin Wilson, 49, is due to open their case in the High Court at Hamilton today. Photo / File
Defence counsel for Leon Colin Wilson, 49, is due to open their case in the High Court at Hamilton today. Photo / File

Smith and Kerridge also deny charges of kidnapping and conspiring to defeat the course of justice. Smith also denies a manslaughter charge.

Paterson was found bound, wrapped in tarpaulin at the bottom of a body of water under the McLaren Falls bridge at Kaimai Ranges during the early hours of July 13 last year.

In his DVD interview with Hamilton police Detective Richelle Brownlie, Wilson reiterated that he never wanted Paterson dead.

He said his friends had been going on about a recording Paterson had made that was supposedly mocking him and he wanted to talk to him about it.

Christopher Ramia Smith, 34, of Hamilton, is on trial for his alleged role in Mitchell Paterson's death. Photo / File
Christopher Ramia Smith, 34, of Hamilton, is on trial for his alleged role in Mitchell Paterson's death. Photo / File

On the night, he had been eating and drinking at home as various visitors stopped by through the night.

"A whole lot of people turned up, I ended up with a house full of people who kept going on about what Paterson had been saying in audio or video being circulated around Hamilton.

"[I said] Who the fuck is this c***. I had never heard of him in my life and got sick of hearing his name.

"They had been going on about it for weeks … and I just really had enough. It wasn't just that I heard someone saying something … they just constantly went on about this guy mocking me."

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Wilson said Kerridge and others were simply "priming" him up to go and get Paterson.

"They were like 'oh bro, oh bro and they were just priming me up hard … everyone was just coming at me. It's like a Once Were Warriors f****** story.

"I was just trying to enjoy my night with my partner and my baby and eating lollies and drinking piss.

"They just kept going on and on and on about this recording. [It was] just childish f****** bullshit if you ask me and I fell into their trap."

Wilson said everyone in his house knew Paterson apart from him.

Mitchell Paterson was dead when he was dumped at McLaren Falls last year. Three people are on trial for their alleged role in his death. Photo / File
Mitchell Paterson was dead when he was dumped at McLaren Falls last year. Three people are on trial for their alleged role in his death. Photo / File

"I'd never met him, never laid eyes on him.

"So I'm sitting there saying, 'what the f***'. Why is he doing this, does he even know me?
"He was just f****** making fun of me and being a dickhead all over town ."

Wilson said it seemed to him that his "so-called friends" used him to take Paterson "out of commission".

"It still hurts me that I was involved in this and this man came to my house dead.

"What happened between [Walker] picking him up and taking him to my house, I don't know."

Wilson said he just wanted to tell Patterson to "shut your f****** mouth, stop mocking me".

"I didn't say go and get this guy and bring him back dead. There's no f****** way I wanted that to happen.

"No one gave the instruction to kill this man, not me, not anybody.

"I actually thought he was knocked out when he got to my house. I had no idea he was dead."

Wilson said he still didn't recognise Paterson after seeing him on the news after his death.

"I didn't even recognise the guy and that's sad because I don't know this man at all and yet he mocked me hard for the last 4 to 5 weeks.

Police at the McLaren Falls bridge near Tauranga where Mitchell Paterson's body was found. Photo / File
Police at the McLaren Falls bridge near Tauranga where Mitchell Paterson's body was found. Photo / File

"Was this guy poking the beehive? I wanted to honestly say to him, what the f*** is your problem, bro … why are you going around doing this … he was belittling me for no reason at all.

"It's all fucked up how this all happened."

Wilson said he was the only one to suggest taking Paterson to the hospital after discovering he was dead, but everyone left.

"And I'm stuck there with a dead body. So do I turn up at the hospital with a dead body? I didn't know what to do.

"For somebody who wants to kill somebody do you think they want to take them to the hospital?"

Wilson said he never wanted Paterson dead.

"My intentions were to blacken his eyes and tell him to shut his f****** mouth."

As for the disposal of Paterson's body, Wilson said the last he knew Walker had planned to drive it to Benneydale, fill the car with rubbish and set it on fire.

Wilson told the detectives it was Kerridge's "big, bright idea to take him to the falls".

"No one told her to take Mitchell to the falls."

In her opening last week, Crown prosecutor Jacinda Foster told the jury how Paterson was lured into a vehicle on Mill Lane, Hamilton, by Simon Peter Walker, a Nomad's prospect, along with his former partner Chloe Kerridge, and her friend Dylan Ken Brian Boyle.

Once in the back of Boyle's Subaru, a car containing Wilson, Smith and Grant Wickens pulled up alongside. Wilson then ordered Boyle to drive it back to his Pohutukawa Drive home as Walker dragged Paterson into the car.

A struggle ensued, as Walker restrained him in a headlock, resulting in Paterson kicking out the rear window. Both vehicles pulled over and Smith got into the back of the car with Paterson and Walker.

Arriving back at Wilson's home, Paterson was dragged into the garage where they would shortly after discover he was dead.

After driving around for about 20 hours, Kerridge, Walker and friend James Green, decided to throw Paterson's body off the bridge where he was discovered hours later.