It may never be known who inflicted the fatal blows that killed Murupara teenager Kaine Lewis, but those who took part in a gang attack on him are all responsible for his death, a High Court jury has heard.
Five Murupara men associated with the Mongrel Mob - Neville Duff, 33, Joshua-Lesley Whitu, 18, David Te Wharerangi Rewi, 25, Jurome Takere Rutene and Hemi Winitana, both 19, are on trial at the High Court at Rotorua before Justice John Priestley and a jury charged with murdering the 17-year-old on October 3, 2009, and participating in an organised criminal group.
A sixth man, Norton Taoho, 19, pleaded guilty last month to the murder, and another man, Jarrod Tumoana Rewi, 19, pleaded guilty to participating in an organised criminal group and has been discharged on the murder charge.
Opening the case yesterday, Rotorua Crown Solicitor Fletcher Pilditch told the jury a gang fight broke out in Murupara's Tawa St between Mongrel Mob and Tribesmen associates early on October 3, 2009, following two earlier "skirmishes" between the gangs.
It may never be known who administered the fatal blows.
"All accused are charged with murder.
"They played a criminal part ... it was the action and consequence of the group behaviour in this case ... the death of Kaine Lewis was as a result of the conduct of the accused acting together," he said.
A group of people associated with the Tribesmen gang and dressed in yellow were at a party at one end of the street while another group associated with the Mongrel Mob and dressed in red were at another house in the street, Mr Pilditch said.
Kaine Lewis, from Kaingaroa, and a friend were at the Tribesmen party.
A confrontation developed between the gangs earlier in the night, resulting in the windscreen of a vehicle with Rewi, Winitana and Rutene inside, being smashed by one of the party-goers, the court heard.
Abuse and bottles were hurled at them from people at the party.
"Friction began to develop with people from the red and yellow sides," he said.
The men then left the settlement and headed to Galatea to look for firearms to confront the group, Mr Pilditch said.
They returned unable to find any.
A car was then being driven around the settlement with witnesses hearing gang slogans and the words "we are going to kill the Tribesmen" from those inside it, Mr Pilditch said.
Just before 2am, a group of Mongrel Mob associates armed themselves with "weapons" including bats, pieces of wood, metal poles, sticks and crowbars and headed up the street behind a white ute type truck, he said.
Abuse and gang slogans were yelled between them before the Mongrel Mob group left.
A short time later, the group affiliated to the Tribesmen headed down the street pulling off fence palings and picking up other items to use as weapons, congregating on a nearby section.
The two groups then clashed in the middle of the street.
A white truck was driven into the yellow group, smashing into a house and forcing people to scatter in all directions, Mr Pilditch said.
Throughout this attack, Duff was wearing a crash helmet.
Kaine Lewis then became separated from his friends and was set on by a group who hit him repeatedly with weapons, resulting in two fatal blows to the head delivered with "severe force", Mr Pilditch said.
The 17-year-old died a short time later in Rotorua Hospital.
"He became isolated and alone," he said.
"He may have had a fence paling ... he was struck to the ground.
"Struck a number of times - two of those times ended his life. Two blows to the back of the head."
People fled into the night, discarding weapons as they ran off, the court heard.
The trial has been set down for three weeks.