19 Jul 2012

Bagsnatcher found guilty of Auckland murder

11:06 pm on 19 July 2012

A man has been found guilty for the second time of killing a woman after stealing her handbag.

Christopher Shadrock was retried at the High Court for the murder of Joanne Wang, 39. at a South Auckland supermarket carpark in 2008.

Her murder was one of three killings over nine days in 2008 in South Auckland that prompted the Prime Minister to call for an urgent action plan, and led to police putting more officers into Counties Manukau.

A jury accepted the Crown's argument that Shadrock, 24, snatched Mrs Wang's bag and made for a stolen four wheel drive.

Mrs Wang chased Shadrock and positioned herself in front of the vehicle, before he accelerated heavily, knocking her to the ground. She died in hospital.

The defence said the possibility Mrs Wang could die never entered Mr Shadrock's mind and he had no murderous intent.

Four of Shadrock's associates were convicted also for the second time, for destroying evidence including burning the four wheel drive that hit Mrs Wang.

The group was originally convicted in 2010, but the convictions were quashed last year by the Court of Appeal.

The men have had their previous sentences reimposed.

Shadrock will serve the remainder of his life sentence with a minimum non-parole period of 12 years.

Yet to decide on another appeal

Shadrock successfully appealed against the first conviction, and his lawyer Chris Wilkinson-Smith says he is yet to decide if he will challenge the latest one.

"He's got 28 days to have a look at it," he says. "It was an unusual situation in which he got his appeal granted after the first trial. There was a very narrow legal point which changed the law on murder, under a particular limb of murder, and that's why he got a retrial."