4 Feb 2023

A home-made taser and a 3D-printed gun - the world of a 501 deportee and shooting victim

9:51 am on 4 February 2023

By Ric Stevens, Open Justice reporter of NZ Herald

28072016 Photo: Rebekah Parsons-King. Napier Court

The trial is being held at Napier District Court. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

A 501 deportee claims he was punched and stomped on before a gunshot fired through his right leg broke his femur.

The man, who admitted he was a "career criminal" during his 22 years in Australia, said he was attacked by two men in a shed at his Napier home after receiving repeated visits from the Mongrel Mob.

He was giving evidence in a court case, during which police said the man was a reluctant witness who had been found in possession of a loaded 3D-printed firearm and a home-made taser.

Asked by defence lawyer Scott Jefferson why he had made the taser, he replied: "Shits and giggles."

"Have you never played taser tag? It's a pretty fun game," the man said.

The Napier District Court is hearing the jury trial of Paul Phillip Keil, 37, who has denied wounding the man with intent to cause grievous bodily harm on 2 December, 2021.

He is also charged with two counts of assaulting the man with intent to injure - by punching him and kicking or stomping him while with another, unknown, person.

The name of the man who was the victim of the alleged attack on 2 December, 2021, has been suppressed by Judge Russell Collins.

"I'm a 501 who's just come over from Australia who's trying to turn my life around," the man told the court.

The term 501 refers to Section 501 of the Australian Migration Act, under which New Zealand citizens who commit crimes in Australia can be deported back to their country of origin.

The man admitted he had been a criminal in Australia but he was trying to live a different life in New Zealand, and wanted nothing to do with the gang members who came calling at the house he shared with a cousin.

He said they wanted him to "pay them to leave me alone". He gave them the keys to a car and, on the day he was shot, was in his shed with two men looking at a motorcycle.

"I wanted the drama to stop, because they kept coming round to my house again and again," the man said.

"The fifth time these dudes come over, this happens [the alleged attack]."

The man said that he and the two men were talking in the shed, when one of them shut the door and they then "just beat the f... out of me".

He did not have time to defend himself. They punched him and stomped on him on the ground, he said.

He fell back onto a bag of potting mix and pulled himself into an upright fetal position on his back, with his knees close to his face.

He said that one of the men had a gun, aimed at his knee, and he went to grab it.

"As I grabbed the gun, it went off."

He said the shot injured his hand and went straight through his leg.

An agreed summary of facts said that the man suffered a wound to the front of his right leg just below kneecap and a wound to the rear of his thigh.

He had a fractured femur and lacerations to his right ring finger. He also had lacerations to his head.

The witness later described the firearm as a pistol.

He said that after his attackers left, he hopped back to his house, yelled at his cousin to open the door, and locked himself inside.

He said he was freaking out. It was the first time he had been shot and "a new experience".

Within minutes, he heard police at the front door. Two police officers came in with guns pointed, put him over their shoulders and took him out to an ambulance.

The man said he had little memory between being put in the ambulance and waking up next day in hospital.

The witness confirmed to Crown prosecutor Cameron Stuart that since the incident he had been charged, convicted and sentenced for possession of one gram of methamphetamine, a firearm, ammunition and a taser.

Jefferson asked the man why, if he was trying to change his life, did he have methamphetamine, the firearm, taser and ammunition.

Someone had given him the firearm because "if these people are coming over, they mean business", the man said.

In regard to the methamphetamine, he said "half the country does meth" and he had used the drug for more than 20 years.

"If I didn't have it, it didn't bother me."

Detective Victoria Holden said she interviewed the man after he was taken to the emergency department.

She said he told her that he did not know the man who shot him and did not owe anyone any money.

"He was quite reluctant to talk to me," Holden said.

"He did describe the person who did this as a mobster, which I took to be a member of the Mongrel Mob."

Detective Sergeant Kate Hyde also described the man as a "reluctant" witness.

She said two firearms were found in his room after the incident.

One was an unloaded "decommissioned" Walther PPK. The other was a 3D-printed camo-coloured plastic firearm which looked "fake", made of plastic but with metal working parts.

It had a magazine in it loaded with 9mm rounds.

The trial before Judge Collins and a jury of eight women and four men is continuing.

This story originally appeared in the New Zealand Herald.