8 Oct 2009

Hearing begins into fatal stabbing of businessman

6:06 pm on 8 October 2009

A depositions hearing for a man accused of fatally stabbing a businessman who went to the aid of a stranger has begun at the Auckland District Court.

Police described Austin Hemmings as a hero for his attempt to help a female office worker being assaulted in Mills Lane in central Auckland.

Pauesi Leosa Brown, a 46-year-old sickness beneficiary, is charged with Mr Hemmings' murder and with assaulting a woman using a knife on 25 September 2008.

In his opening address on Thursday, Crown prosecutor Kevin Glubb told the court Mr Hemmings stepped between the accused and the woman office during a confrontation.

Mr Glubb told the hearing the woman saw Mr Brown lift his shirt to reveal what she thought was a knife and witnessed him thrusting a hand towards Mr Hemmings.

Mr Hemmings received a 13-centimetre wound to the chest and died a short time later.

Mr Glubb said that when police tracked down the accused the following morning, the only thing Mr Brown questioned was how they could have found him so fast.

The depositions hearing continues on Friday.