A double murder trial got off to a dramatic start in the High Court at Auckland yesterday when the brother of one of the victims approached his alleged killer.

Wayne Fuller-Sandys had finished his evidence on the first day of the trial of four people accused in the killings of Dean Fuller-Sandys and Leah Stephens.

As he walked past the dock, he said something inaudible to Stephen Ralph Stone, who is jointly accused of Dean Fuller-Sandys' murder.

The accused responded with a hand gesture as police led Mr Fuller-Sandys out of the courtroom.

Stone, aged 29 and Gail Denise Maney, 31, deny murdering Dean Fuller-Sandys around August 21 1989.

Stone also denies the rape and murder of prostitute Leah Stephens around August 26, 1989.

Gail Maney has also pleaded not guilty, along with her brother Colin Neil Maney, 27, and Mark William Hendrikson, 32, to disposing of Mr Fuller-Sandys body.

Mr Fuller-Sandys has not been seen since leaving his parent's home in Blockhouse Bay to go fishing on the day it is alleged he was murdered.

Miss Stephens' remains were found near the Muriwai Golf Course in 1992, three years after she went missing from Upper Queen St.

Crown prosecutor Susan Gray said Miss Stephens was killed because she spoke of her "fear and anxiety" over Mr Fuller-Sandys' murder.

The Crown says Gail Maney ordered a "hit" on Mr Fuller-Sandys after suspecting he was responsible for stealing her drugs.

Stone, her friend and a bouncer at the strip club where she worked, carried out the killing in a basement garage at Gail Maney's home in Larnoch Rd, Henderson, the court was told.

Stone confronted Mr Fuller-Sandys about the theft and, the Crown alleges, punched him in the face several times before shooting him two to three times with a handgun.

Stone made all of the men in the group shoot at Mr Fuller-Sandys "perhaps because he wanted to make sure that everyone who saw Dean murdered would be implicated in his murder," Mrs Gray said.

In the group was Miss Stephens, who stepped forward to say something but was told by Stone to "shut up."

In the following days, Stone confronted Miss Stephens about talking of the killing. He took her to Larnoch Rd and in a bedroom punched her about the head then ordered one of the men to rape her before he also raped her, Mrs Gray said.

"Stephen Stone then pulled out a knife and stabbed Leah Stephens in the stomach. She lay there moaning so ... Stone pulled her head back and slit her throat in the presence of [two witnesses]."