26 Aug 2014

Lawyers closing 'crime spree' case

2:02 pm on 26 August 2014

The Crown is closing its case against a man who it says went on crime spree in Auckland targeting Asian tourists.

John Koteka is on trial at the High Court in Auckland where he is facing charges including aggravated robbery and assault.

He is accused of approaching a tour operator with a gun at the Wintergardens and also firing it on Mt Eden in February last year.

Crown prosecutor Warren Catchcart said Mr Koteka targeted Asian tourists in known tourist areas.

Mr Koteka said his only intention was robbery.

Mr Cathcart told the jury the key issue in the case was one of identification.

He told jurors that Mr Koteka was identified by witnesses, both at the beginning and end of the crime spree.

Earlier offending by Mr Koteka in 2010 showed a distinct pattern of offending, Mr Cathcart said.

Some of the other charges against Mr Koteka were dropped in court this morning.

The jury no longer had to consider two charges of unlawfully taking a car, an arson charge, and two of receiving stolen property.