18 Jul 2019

Violent Grey Lynn dairy robbery: Accused denies involvement

4:10 pm on 18 July 2019

A man accused of being a lookout in a violent dairy robbery in Auckland has insisted he never played a role in it.

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

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

Ngatama Kaienua stood outside Grey Lynn's Hylite Dairy while a teenager went into the family-run business with a kitchen knife just after 7pm on 19 June last year.

Siddhartha Patel was stabbed six times before the knife was turned on his mother Gita when she came running to his aid.

Mr Kaienua has been on trial in Auckland High Court this week after pleading not guilty to aggravated wounding and assault with intent to rob.

The 28-year-old gave evidence in his own defence this morning; maintaining the violent stabbing caught him by total surprise.

He denied being in on a plan to rob the dairy despite changing into darker clothes beforehand, positioning himself outside the dairy and texting an associate "now" when the 16-year-old entered the store.

CCTV footage inside the dairy shows the teenager pretending to look at ice creams until the shop is clear of customers before moving behind the counter to stab Siddhartha.

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

This morning, Crown prosecutor Brian Dickey asked Mr Kaienua why he calmly stood outside by a street bin before slowly walking away during the attack.

Mr Dickey: "You weren't concerned about the shopkeepers being stabbed because that was always part of the plan, wasn't it?"

Mr Kaienua: "Definitely not, no."

Mr Dickey: "It was always very likely that if you sent a hyped up young man, like [the teenager], into the dairy with a knife to do a robbery that the shopkeepers in that shop would get stabbed. It was always known to you wasn't it?"

Mr Kaienua: "No definitely not. It was not likely at all."

Mr Dickey: "That's why you're not ever troubled by the fact that the shopkeepers had been hurt, are you?"

Mr Kaienua: "I'm troubled but the problem is I'm scared. The last time I was involved in something like this or had been around it I had been sent to prison."

It's the Crown's case Mr Kaienua planned the robbery with the teenager after a day of drinking alcohol with friends.

The prosecution has said that while the 28-year-old didn't hold the knife he knowingly and intentionally aided, abetted or incited his co-accused to carry out the dairy robbery.

Charges of both aggravated wounding and assault with intent to rob carry maximum penalties of 14 years' imprisonment.

Justice Gault is expected to hear closing remarks from the lawyers in the case tomorrow morning.

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