A judge will decide what will now happen to a teenage girl who helped kidnap, torture and murder a young woman at a "house of horrors" after being found unfit to stand trial.

Following a high-profile and at times disturbing trial last September in Auckland, Ashley Winter and Kerry Te Amo were both found guilty by a jury of murdering 17-year-old Dimetrius Pairama.

However, a third person was charged after Pairama's body was found by police in a rusty steel drum at an abandoned state house in Māngere on a cold, rainy night in July 2018.

She was just 16 at the time and also accused of kidnapping and murdering Pairama.

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But, the now 18-year-old, never saw a jury after the Court of Appeal ruled her unfit to stand trial. The teen was found to suffer from mild intellectual disability and foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and has been at the Mason Clinic, a forensic psychiatric services secure unit in Point Chevalier, since September.

Now, Justice Timothy Brewer is tasked with making an assessment about what is required for the teen, who has name suppression, and necessary for public interest and safety.

Today, a deposition hearing was held in the High Court at Auckland.

"The reason we are all here is [the teen] took part in the torture and protracted hanging of a young woman," Justice Brewer said.

Dimetrius Pairama was found dead at a derelict house in July 2018. Photo / Supplied
Dimetrius Pairama was found dead at a derelict house in July 2018. Photo / Supplied

The court heard from three experts who said those with FASD are known to be more easily led into trouble and struggle with decision-making and insight.

Dr Valerie McGinn, a paediatric neuropsychologist and FASD specialist, deemed the teen, who has an IQ of 64, a low risk of reoffending if in a custodial setting.

"If she was in the community there's always the possibility she could do something unpredictable, as could anyone with FASD," McGinn said.

The court also heard about the teen's "adverse life experiences", which included prostitution, substance abuse, running away from home, and exposure to violence.

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"She has had intellectual disability her whole life and she will have intellectual disability her whole life," McGinn.

The doctor said the teen, who has been in Oranga Tamariki care, has also been "institutionalised within youth justice residences and Mason Clinic". If she was to move to another facility or different form of supervision it would require great care, McGinn added.

At a hearing in December, Justice Brewer said he as "satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the evidence against [the teen] is that she caused the act that forced the basis of the murder and kidnapping".

"The second inquiry the court must make is to how she is to be treated by the state henceforth."

Today he said he would "have to make my mind up" as to the teen's risk-profile, but added her risk management appeared dependant "very much on environment".

He allowed the teen's lawyer Maria Pecotic and the Crown Solicitor at Manukau, Natalie Walker, the opportunity to file further written arguments before making his decision at a later date.

READ MORE:
Court of Appeal explains finding teen unfit for Dimetrius Pairama trial
Torture trial: Duo found guilty of teen's murder in 'house of horrors'
Third person charged with Auckland teen Diemetrius Pairama's murder
Auckland torture case: Girl's body found inside a rusty drum at abandoned state house

The Crown did not call the teen to testify at Winter and Te Amo's trial because the Bill Of Rights may not be complied with, the court has previously heard.

But another teenager who was at the house of horrors was called to give evidence as the Crown's key witness. She was given immunity from prosecution by the Deputy Solicitor-General.

When overruling the High Court and finding the intellectually disabled teen unfit for trial, the Court of Appeal did say she could understand the charges against her, enter pleas, and understand the consequences.

But, the court said the teen would not have been able to instruct her lawyers and meaningfully participate in the trial, such as testify if she wished.

Ashley Winter, aka Toko Shane Rei Winter, was found guilty of murdering the 17-year-old girl. Photo / Sam Hurley
Ashley Winter, aka Toko Shane Rei Winter, was found guilty of murdering the 17-year-old girl. Photo / Sam Hurley

The Court of Appeal said its decision was "significantly driven by the nature of the trial itself".

"Fitness to stand trial cannot be determined solely on the basis of an assessment of a defendant's deficits," the decision reads. "Rather, those deficits are to be considered in the context of the particular trial the defendant is facing."

The case involved Winter and Te Amo running "cut-throat defences" as they blamed each other for murdering Pairama.

After kidnapping Pairama, Winter and Te Amo tortured her over several hours before eventually giving her the chilling choice of how she wanted to die - be stabbed or hung.

Pairama's mum Lena Hetaraka-Pairama has told the Herald she believes her daughter, who had also spent time in Oranga Tamariki care and also on Auckland's streets, was killed as part of a gang retaliation.

But Te Amo's lawyer Shane Tait has said: "The house of horrors on Buckland Rd ... We'll never know exactly what happened."

Crown Solicitor at Manukau, Natalie Walker, also said during the trial: "There is no good reason or explanation for why the defendants did what they did to Dimetrius.

"In that house, on that day, for whatever senseless reason, there was a terrible loss of humanity."

Winter and Te Amo are both due to be sentenced at the end of this month.

Kerry Te Amo is due to be sentenced for murdering Dimetrius Pairama later this year. Photo / Sam Hurley
Kerry Te Amo is due to be sentenced for murdering Dimetrius Pairama later this year. Photo / Sam Hurley