Violent dairy assault: mother, son describe knife attack

6:28 pm on 16 July 2019

A mother and son have described being attacked in a violent dairy robbery in central Auckland last year.

Ngatama Kaienua, 28, on trial at the Auckland High Court.

Ngatama Kaienua, 28, on trial at the High Court. Photo: RNZ / Anneke Smith

Gita Patel and her son Siddhartha were both stabbed while minding their family business Hylite Dairy in Grey Lynn on 19 June, 2018.

It is the Crown's case that Ngatama Kaienua, 28, was the lookout while a teenager - who is before the Youth Court - entered the store with a large kitchen knife.

The Ōtāhūhū man is on trial at the High Court in Auckland this week after pleading not guilty to charges of aggravated wounding and assault with intent to rob.

Mrs Patel told the court she was cooking dinner in their residence at the back of the dairy, which the family have run for 15 years, when she heard her son scream.

"I saw a man very, very close to my son. I ran towards them but I fell on the way."

Mrs Patel said she got up but fell a second time, breaking her shoulder, and when she tried to pull the attacker off her son the knife was turned on her.

"I remember that I had fallen but I don't really remember what time he stabbed me ... I found out about it the next day when the doctors told me."

Ronak Lodhiya, a family friend of the Patels, had been in the kitchen with Gita and chased the attacker out of the dairy.

"That's when I saw he had a knife in his hand and [there was] blood. My aunty was screaming at the back so I didn't pay attention to him I just went inside quickly to help her."

Blood on the floor after a violent robbery at a dairy in Grey Lynn.

Blood on the floor after a violent robbery at a dairy in Grey Lynn. Photo: Supplied / NZ Police

Mr Lodhiya said it wasn't until he returned to the dairy that he realised the extent of Siddhartha's injuries.

"I saw he was bleeding. I could see the blood coming out of his t-shirt and pants and then he lifted his t-shirt up and we saw he was injured very badly ... I pressed the t-shirt against his wounds."

Siddhartha was stabbed six times; his diaphragm was pierced, his colon punctured and his lung collapsed.

The prosecution has said while Mr Kaienua did not hold the knife, he knowingly and intentionally aided, abetted or incited the co-accused to carry out the dairy robbery.

The 28-year-old maintains he had no idea the teenager had a knife that night and was never part of a plan to rob the store.

This afternoon the court watched a police interview with Detective Mike Lawry, recorded six days after the stabbing, in which Mr Kaienua repeatedly denied any involvement and told an officer he had thousands of dollars in his bank account so did not need to rob a dairy.

The judge-alone trial before Justice Gault is set down for one week.