10 Sep 2019

Court hears Auckland teenager may have refused help before murder

9:03 pm on 10 September 2019

Warning: This story includes disturbing content

A court has heard an Auckland teenager may have refused help from the police shortly before the Crown says she was murdered.

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Kerry Te Amo (left) and Toko (Ashley) Shane Winter. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Toko Shane Winter and Kerry Te Amo are on trial in the High Court at Auckland accused of murdering Dimetrius Pairama.

The Crown says they kidnapped, tortured and hanged the 17-year-old in a derelict state house in Māngere last July.

Constable Riki Naera visited the house that day on an unrelated inquiry and told the court he arrived to find the yard messy and the curtains drawn.

The court heard he knocked on the door and, after a few minutes of scuffling noises coming from inside the house, a teary-eyed, young Māori female answered the door.

"I immediately noticed she had either been crying or was still crying. She was trying to cover that up trying to wipe her face at the door."

Constable Naera said he offered to help the teenager - who the Crown says was Miss Pairama - but she was hostile towards him and refused to leave the house.

"I tried to ask her if we could do anything for her, if she needed any help or if she'd like to come back to the patrol car away from the house because at that point I assumed there may have been some sort of domestic incident."

Mr Naera said the teenager repeatedly refused his offers and a second older female, heavier and shorter in stature, came to the door a few minutes later.

"It definitely felt like she was the boss at the house at the time ... just the attitude she portrayed at the door. You can often tell who's in charge at a house by the way that they portray themselves, compared to the other girl who was a lot more timid."

The Constable said he was told by the pair a former tenant he was trying to locate wasn't there and he eventually left the property.

This point in time, Crown Solicitor Natalie Walker says, is after Miss Pairama was beaten but before she was tied up, tortured and hanged.

The court has heard the police first learned there may be a body in Māngere when they were called to a fight at Britomart the next day.

Constable Kelsey Morgan was dispatched to the scuffle and told the court she arrived to find a group, including a distressed teenager who claimed her friend had been murdered.

"She stated 'She murdered my friend' and pointed to a female in green. She just constantly repeated 'She's a murderer'."

Constable Morgan said the woman being pointed at identified herself to the police as Toko Shane Winter, one of the defendants, and went on to deny knowing the group.

"[Miss Winter said] they started attacking me; punching me, slapping and grabbing my hair ... I do not know those girls or why they attacked me.

"They stated they met me at a party and then accused me of someone's passing. I saw these girls on the bus yesterday."

Detective Constable Callan Hunt spoke to Miss Winter later that evening.

He said the woman told him she'd heard through some working girls in Manurewa that a girl had been murdered by a male and female.

"She told me these two people tortured, stripped and hung a girl and that the body was somewhere in Māngere.

"She further told me that today on the train three girls, who were in our custody now, had accused her of killing and burying the body."

On Friday morning the jury saw CCTV footage that filmed the two defendants, Miss Pairama and two other teenagers moving through South Auckland on foot on 7 July.

In the footage, Miss Pairama can be seen socially interacting with others in the group and appears normal and relaxed.

When opening the Crown's case yesterday afternoon, Ms Walker said it was not clear why but at some point the defendants turned on Miss Pairama and began a "vicious, degrading and ultimately fatal attack".

The trial before Justice Brewer and a jury is set down for a month but will likely finish earlier.

*This story was published on Friday, 6 September 2019.