When a young man in leathers, hair slicked back in a ponytail, leapt a terrace and burgled a West Auckland house, he triggered an alleged wave of violence that went undetected for more than seven years.

The body of the young man said to have committed the burglary, Deane Fuller-Sandys, has never turned up - 29 years after he disappeared in 1989. And it was three years before Leah Stephens' stabbed and slashed body was found near the Muriwai Golf Course.

Fuller-Sandys was 21 in August 1989 when he drove away from his parents home in Blockhouse Bay to go fishing.

At first it was thought he died after being washed off rocks at Whatipu, near the northern head of the Manukau Harbour.

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But in 1997, the police began to hear about his fate, and what prosecutors would later call the "sordid and murderous activities" of his killers and their associates.

Ten years after Fuller-Sandys' disappearance, Stephen Ralph Stone and Gail Denise Maney were found guilty of his murder. Mark William Henriksen and Colin Neil Maney, Gail's brother, were found guilty of helping to dispose of the victim's body - in the vicinity of Woodhill Forest, according to the Crown case.

Stone was also found guilty of the rape and murder of Stephens.

Stone and Gail Maney were given life sentences.

Henriksen was jailed for three years and Colin Maney for two. Maney's term was suspended for two years and he was placed under supervision.

Stephen Stone was convicted of the 1989 murders of Deane Fuller-Sandys and Leah Stephens. Photo / Russell Smith
Stephen Stone was convicted of the 1989 murders of Deane Fuller-Sandys and Leah Stephens. Photo / Russell Smith

Prosecutors said Stone was associated, "in some strong-arm way", with a strip club on central Auckland's Karangahape Rd. Stephens, a prostitute, worked there as a stripper.

Gail Maney and Tania Wilson, who were both prostitutes and in a relationship with Stone, lived in a rental at 22 Larnoch Rd, Henderson. Stone often stayed there.

Fuller-Sandys sometimes attended parties there and sold drugs to Gail Maney.

In August 1989, when the Larnoch Rd house's occupants were at a party elsewhere, the place was burgled. Leather goods, money and drugs were stolen.

A neighbour described the man she had seen jump over a terrace and enter through a door.

Maney concluded it was Fuller-Sandys and confronted him several days later at the Westward Ho Tavern in West Auckland. He denied it.

A Court of Appeal summary of the crown case says Wilson told the High Court that Gail Maney "asked Stone to 'do a hit', that is, to kill Deane Fuller-Sandys".

A woman who had had a casual sexual encounter with Fuller-Sandys was told by Maney to invite him to the Larnoch Rd house, where he was killed in a basement garage.

The jury in the first trial of Dean Fuller-Sandys' killers visited Whatipu, where he was initially thought to have died. Photo / Martin Sykes
The jury in the first trial of Dean Fuller-Sandys' killers visited Whatipu, where he was initially thought to have died. Photo / Martin Sykes

"He arrived there en-route to his intended fishing expedition. He was confronted by Stone who verbally abused him and beat him to the ground."

"... Gail Maney kicked him several times with quite hard kicks when he was on the ground. Then Stone produced a hand gun and shot the victim who probably died at that time."

Gail Denise Maney was convicted of the 1989 murder of Deane Fuller-Sandys.
Gail Denise Maney was convicted of the 1989 murder of Deane Fuller-Sandys.

To make four men who were present "complicit in the murder", Stone made them shoot the body.

He ordered two women and a man to load the body into the boot of Colin Maney's car.

"The five men then drove to the Woodhill Forest area near Muriwai beach and buried the body. Later Stone arranged for Colin Maney to drive Deane Fuller-Sandys' car to Whatipu."

Auckland woman Leah Stephens was raped and murdered, it was alleged, because she had started talking about the killing of Deane Fuller-Sandys.
Auckland woman Leah Stephens was raped and murdered, it was alleged, because she had started talking about the killing of Deane Fuller-Sandys.

Soon after Fuller-Sandys was killed, 20-year-old Leah Stephens, who had witnessed his killing, became nervous and began to talk about it.

She was snatched by Stone and two others in Upper Queen St and warned about narking. She was taken to a house, where Stone raped and killed her.

"The three men then put the body in the boot of the car and drove to the Waitakere Ranges where the body was buried. Leah Stephens' remains were discovered in 1992."

Maney's first murder conviction was overturned on appeal; she was convicted again at a second trial.

She appealed that conviction too, bringing new evidence - from Wilson and a private investigator. Wilson had recanted her trial evidence that had incriminated Maney.

The Court of Appeal didn't believe Wilson. "To be blunt, we consider that Tania Wilson's fresh evidence is utterly lacking in credibility on all relevant matters put in issue."

The Supreme Court later refused to hear a further appeal.

Maney, now aged 51, has been freed from prison.

Stone was declined parole last year. The Parole Board said he initially acknowledged his offending but "now denies all elements of the two murders and the rape".