10 Sep 2019

Court hears Dimetrius Pairama was 'too scared' to run away from alleged murder scene

3:37 pm on 10 September 2019

Graphic warning: This story includes disturbing content

A court has heard an Auckland teenager was "too scared" to run from a house the Crown says she was beaten, tortured and murdered in.

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Kerry Te Amo and Toko (Ashley) Shane Winter are on trial in the High Court at Auckland, accused of murdering 17-year-old Dimetrius Pairama. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Dimetrius Pairama's body was found in a steel drum out the back of an abandoned state house in Māngere last July.

Kerry Te Amo and Toko (Ashley) Shane Winter are on trial in the High Court at Auckland, accused of murdering the 17-year-old.

The police were first alerted to Miss Pairama's death after a teenager claimed her friend had been murdered at a fight in Britomart.

Today the jury watched a police interview with the young female, who has been granted immunity from prosecution, where she describes the final hours of her friend's life.

She said Miss Pairama - also known as 'Precious' - was beaten by Mr Te Amo while tied to a chair in a derelict house in Māngere.

The court heard the room's door was closed but the teenager could hear thumping noises and eventually told Miss Winter to stop the violence.

"Everyone listens to Ashley [Miss Winter] ... I told her to tell him to stop then she opened the door."

The teenager said Miss Winter then used used a chemical spray and lighter to apply heat to Miss Pairama's body before she was untied from the chair and laid on the floor under a sheet.

"That's when Ashley called us to have a talk in front of her. That's when she told her how she wanted to die."

The court has heard Miss Winter blamed Miss Pairama for a past assault and gave her a choice of how she wanted to die; by stabbing or hanging.

"[Miss Winter said] 'It's your fault' ... then she said 'Karma's a bitch. How do you wanna die? You've only got till 3pm. If you don't tell me I'm going to stab your throat'," the teenager said.

The court heard Miss Winter and Mr Te Amo eventually left the room but the teenager stayed back to try and help her.

"I asked her if she was all right and she said no. She said she wanted to see her Nana. That's when I got her clothes, gave them to her and said get out the window and go as far as you can.

"But she said she was too scared Ashley would find her again. That's when she told me to tell Ashley she wants to hang herself right at that time."

The teenager said Miss Winter returned to the room and told Mr Te Amo to retrieve a colourful blue sheet "to get the rope ready".

"They closed the door ... they didn't want me to look at it and I had to look out for cops but I fell asleep."

The court has heard police officers visited the house for an unrelated reason during the period in which the Crown says Miss Pairama was beaten and tortured.

In her police interview, the immunity witness was asked why the 17-year-old didn't ask for help when she spoke to police at the door.

Detective Frageo Peterson asked: "It seems like Precious had a chance to talk to the police there. Did she tell you why she didn't tell the police?"

Teenager replied: "Um, the cops knocked and she just said go I'll cover for you. She just told us to run but Ashley went outside with her. They lied and said she just had a break up."

The teenager said the assault continued after the police left. After falling asleep while "keeping an eye out" she woke up to find Miss Pairama dead.

"Once Ashley saw me looking she closed the door and came to talk to me. She said just don't watch it and something about me being too young.

"Then after that they got another sheet, took her to another bedroom where they wrapped her and took her to the back."

The court heard Miss Winter told the teenager how she and Mr Te Amo hanged Miss Pairama and disposed of her body.

"They were gonna dig a hole under the house but [Mr Te Amo] didn't want to. There was a shed and this little thing at the back.

"That's why they bent her legs; they said she couldn't fit there because she was too tall. That's why they bent her legs."

The teenager said Miss Winter wanted to burn the house "because evidence" but the neighbours yelled out at them.

"I think they saw them taking the body out so they called out and said 'Who's in the house?' and said if we didn't come out they'd call the cops.

"Ashley went outside and had a chat with the girl and came back and said we had to go so we didn't get to burn it."

The teenager said the group left the property and hung around Māngere's town centre where they "bought a feed", before visiting the pools and then heading to the train station.

The trial before Justice Brewer and a jury is set down for three to four weeks.