20 Apr 2016

Motel murder trial: 'A terrible way to die'

5:13 pm on 20 April 2016

A judge says there appears to be little doubt a man that two teenagers are accused of murdering at an Auckland motel had an unhealthy interest in young men.

Ihaia Gillman-Harris.

Ihaia Gillman-Harris Photo: SUPPLIED / NZ Police

Justice Toogood has today been summing up the case against Beauen Wallace-Loretz and Leonard Nattrass-Bergquist.

They are on trial in the High Court in Auckland, accused of murdering Ihaia Gillman-Harris in 2014, when they were 17.

The Crown said they acted out on a plan to rob and beat him.

Justice Toogood told jurors today the death of the 54-year-old was tragic in many ways.

"There may be some aspects of his character and his lifestyle which you find upsetting or distressing or abhorrent.

"There doesn't seem to be any doubt that Mr Gillman-Harris had an unhealthy interest in boys and young men, of a kind which society strongly disapproves.

"On the other hand, he was someone's son, and he was a loved brother."

Justice Toogood said what happened in the motel room has had an everlasting effect on three families, and that Mr Gillman-Harris died in a terrible way.

"He suffered very serious injuries, in circumstances which, however you find they were caused, must have been traumatic for him. It was a terrible way to die."

Justice Toogood has indicated he will continue his summing up tomorrow.

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