19 Nov 2018

Victim killed over 'silly' argument about a torch, court told

5:50 pm on 19 November 2018

Witnesses in the trial of a 14-year-old boy accused of murdering Hawke's Bay man Kelly Donner have described finding him lying a pool of blood.

Haami Hanara, 14, is accused of the murder of Kelly Donner in Flaxmere in March 2018.

Haami Hanara Photo: Pool photo

The trial of Haami Hanara, one of the youngest people ever accused of murder, is underway at the High Court in Napier.

The teenager today admitted to robbing Mr Donner, 40, in March, but said he did not kill him.

The crown says Mr Hanara stabbed him four times over an argument about a torch.

Prosector Steve Manning said Mr Hanara and four other teenagers were planning to rob the bottle shop attached to the Flax Bar and Eatery on March 4, 2018.

But upon entering a caged area at the back of the shop they found Kelly Donner.

Mr Hanara asked to borrow Mr Donner's torch, but would not give it back, Mr Manning said.

"It seems the catalyst, the trigger, for this incident is something as silly as an argument over a torch.

The five youths turned on Mr Donner, even throwing a bicycle at him, he said.

"He had a beer bottle smashed over this face and then all hell broke loose. Immediately, these five young people began to attack him, and they attacked him with beer bottles, pieces of wood and fence pailings..."

The Crown argued that Mr Donner then tried to retreat but Mr Hanara, who emerged from the shadows with a knife in his hand, attacked him.

CCTV footage showed Mr Hanara carrying a knife before and after the attack, but there is no footage of the actual attacke.

The Crown said the jury would hear from eye witnesses what happened during those 34 seconds not recorded on CCTV.

Mr Hanara's lawyer Eric Forster declined to give an opening speech.

The court heard Mr Donner was discovered by a witness, severely injured on a grassy area outside the Flax Bar and Eatery, just a few metres from where he was attacked.

The woman, who has name suppression, described finding him in a pool of blood. He was alive but blood was coming out of his neck.

She described calling an ambulance as Mr Donner spoke his final words.

"Those bastards," she said he told her.

"Later on he told me to help him," she said.

Earlier, another witness Horiana Williams told the court she had been at the laundromat in Flaxmere Village the night Mr Donner was killed.

She'd met him there several times before as it was a place he would charge his phone and store his backpack.

Mr Donner was "clean and neatly dressed" she said.

The court also heard from the paramedic who attended to Mr Donner, and from two police officers who were among the first at the scene.

The court is sitting in 40 minute blocks, with breaks every hour, to accommodate the needs of Mr Hanara. This was to ensure he did not have to concentrate for too long.

The teenager also has an official communicator to help him understand what is happening throughout the trial.

The trial is due to last two weeks.