1 Aug 2018

Murder-accused told cops he was taken to gang house, court told

8:54 pm on 1 August 2018

The man accused of murdering a pensioner by repeatedly stomping on his head told police that he had been taken to a gang member's house to get drugs.

Gabriel Yad-Elohim (pictured) is alleged to have killed 69-year-old Michael David Mulholland.

Gabriel Yad-Elohim (pictured) is alleged to have murdered 69-year-old Michael David Mulholland. Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

Gabriel Yad-Elohim is on trial at the High Court in Auckland where he's pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to murdering Michael Mulholland.

Mr Yad-Elohim's lawyer Annabell Cresswell told the jurors her client had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and it was resistant to treatment.

He had turned up to Auckland Hospital's Te Whetu Tawera, the psychiatric ward, and was initially held for five days. That term was extended for a further two weeks after he was found to be psychotic and hearing voices.

However, Mr Yad-Elohim did not stay there for the full term.

His lawyer told the jurors that both the Crown and defence agreed Mr Yad-Elohim was involved in the killing.

Mr Yad Elohim's DVD interview with police, that took place the day after the killing in September last year, was played in court today.

He talks of not going to Nirvana, later he asks who caused the death, and at times he is also yelling during the interview.

He told detective Ray Fa'ofo that a transgender woman took him to a flat in Western Springs to get drugs.

He said she took $200 from him before going into the flat and telling him to wait outside because there were gang members inside who had weapons.

Sometime later Mr Yad-Elohim knocked on the door and Mr Mulholland answered. He said Mr Mulholland tried to punch him.

He said his body responded automatically but he had no intention to kill.

The attack was caught by security footage and shows Mr Yad-Elohim stomping and kicking Mr Mulholland repeatedly.

Yesterday, Crown prosecutor Kirsten Lummis said it was hard to understand why someone would be so outraged about losing $200 that they would kill someone.

"Truth is stranger than fiction. This is perhaps crazy, it's odd, misguided but not legally insane, the Crown would say."

She said it was for the defence to satisfy the jury that Mr Yad-Elohim was insane at the time.

"Yes, he has schizophrenia, yes that's a problem - he's unwell but ... that's quite separate from the motivation for this attack which was related to the fact that he's standing there thinking: 'I've just been ripped off $200'."

Ms Lummis said the matter was also complicated by Mr Yad-Elohim's use of methamphetmine and cannabis.

The trial before a jury and Justice van Bohemen has been set down for two weeks.