Jason Wiremu Poihipi spat in a corner, dry retched, said he felt sick and paced up and down during an interview break at the Rotorua police station, the jury trying him has heard.

"He was pale and appeared to look worried, when I spoke to him on a couple of occasions he didn't answer me at all," detective Mahara Alcock said.

She was giving evidence about the interview she carried out with Poihipi a few hours after his girlfriend, Lynace Parakuka, 22, was declared dead by paramedics called to attend to her in the grounds of Rotorua's St Michael's School on September 7 last year.

Poihipi, 19, denied murdering Parakuka when his trial began in the High Court at Rotorua on Monday. This afternoon the jury was played a DVD of the interview Alcock conducted with him.


His defence team contends Poihipi is not guilty of murder but guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Poihipi said he and Parakuka had been drinking at his cousin's place when he realised she had disappeared.

He searched for her but when he couldn't find her he set out with a knife to steal a car so he could widen his search.

As he was heading along Clayton Rd he saw Parakuka staggering towards him

"She said she had been beaten up, she said it was the n*****s who beat her up, I grabbed her hand and told her to run with me to the field because I didn't want to be seen on the street. I started running into the field, she said 'stop I can't breathe', I through she was joking, she was holding her stomach, holding on to her face."

He realised she had been hurt when she started breathing as if she was snoring.

Poihipi told the detective of a confrontation five or six days earlier between Parakuka and Black Power members. "She was wearing a red hat, they attacked her."

He talked of his own run in with the gang earlier on, claiming a shot had been fired.


Poihipi said when he heard his girlfriend snoring he ran to his cousin for help. "I told him my missus had been beaten up, he didn't take it too seriously. I said 'can you come and help me please.' When he seen her [sic] he called an ambulance and was pushing on her chest until one came."

Detective Alcock told Crown prosecutor Duncan McWilliam Poihipi claimed to have drunk a 18 pack of Codys in the hours before Parakuka's death but had assured her he hadn't taken any drugs.

The jury is to be played a second DVD interview with him tomorrow.

A number of emergency services officers gave evidence this morning.

Jason Wiremu Poihipi, 19, is on trial in the High Court at Rotorua. Photo / NZME
Jason Wiremu Poihipi, 19, is on trial in the High Court at Rotorua. Photo / NZME

Summoned by a 111 call to a field at St Michael's Catholic Primary School, a Rotorua fire officer found an unresponsive woman lying on the ground with injuries to her face.

Station officer Desmond Chan testified he was told by a distressed man in a white hoodie the woman had been beaten up by some girls.

Rotorua police Sergeant Jason Hohepa told prosecutor Duncan McWilliam when he arrived at the school grounds one of two men there identified himself as the woman's boyfriend, the other said he was that man's cousin.

From what they said, he understood they had found the female in an injured state and were trying to help her because she had been assaulted by a group of women.

Reference was made to a small party being held nearby.

Hohepa described the man, who claimed to be the woman's boyfriend, as fidgety while the other was less aggressive.

Lynace Parakuka was in the first trimester of pregnancy. Photo / File
Lynace Parakuka was in the first trimester of pregnancy. Photo / File

"Out of the blue he [the boyfriend] asked me why I was looking at his shoes, I was quite surprised, I hadn't talked about anything to do with his shoes, I said I wasn't, he was convinced I was."

Constable Chloe Hoeata described how, when she saw Poihipi at the school, he was pacing, clenching his fists and frequently mumbling "no".

Poihipi told her he had been drinking at his uncle's. A couple of hours after Parakuka left the house he met up with her on Clayton Rd where she told him she'd been beaten up, saying something about Black Power before collapsing.

The constable assessed his demeanour as aggressive.

On the way to the police station, Poihipi told her his girlfriend was pregnant.

When he was informed that his girlfriend was dead he became angry, swearing a lot.

Questioned by defence lawyer Roger Gowing about Poihipi's reactions to the news of Parakuka's death, Hoeata said Poihipi stood up, threw his cap at the wall, swore a lot and was clenching his fists.

She agreed Poihipi cried when he told her of Parakuka's pregnancy.

The trial, which is before Justice Ian Gault and a jury of 10 women and two men, is continuing.