23 Jul 2014

Witness says accused stomped on head

4:12 pm on 23 July 2014

A teenager who lives on the streets of Auckland has told a court about the moments before one of his friends kicked a homeless man to the ground and stomped on his head.

Steven Ray Churchis, 18, has denied murdering Edwin Linder in July last year and is on trial at the High Court in Auckland.

Savoy Dalton told the court on Wednesday that he had been drinking with Mr Churchis on the day they came across Mr Linder in an alleyway where they planned to sleep. He said the accused believed the man had stolen his bag.

Mr Dalton said Mr Linder yelled at him and his friends before Mr Churchis kicked him in the chest and stomped on his head 10 times.

Mr Churchis' lawyer Peter Winter has suggested that the accused was protecting his friends, but Mr Dalton said he never felt threatened by Mr Linder.

Mr Linder was found unconscious by people going to work the next day and died days later in hospital.

The trial is set down for two weeks.