8 Mar 2011

Accused tells of screams after officer shot

5:17 pm on 8 March 2011

A man accused of attempting to murder a police officer in Auckland has described hearing screams as the officer was gunned down.

Neshanderan Rajgopaul is defending a charge of attempting to murder Constable Jeremy Snow in Papatoetoe in December 2009.

He told jurors at the High Court in Auckland on Tuesday that he and an associate, Darrin Court, entered a Papatoetoe backyard as two police officers were investigating a stolen vehicle in the driveway.

They crept through bushes before being told to stop by an officer with a torch.

Mr Rajgopaul says he was shoved to the ground from behind, moments before he heard shots fired.

He heard screams and saw the torch fall to the ground, before he started running away and climbed over a fence with Mr Court.

Mr Rajgopaul's lawyer, Ron Mansfield, says the only other person in the backyard that night, Mr Court, pulled the trigger.

Earlier, Mr Rajgopaul told the court the only time he used a gun was during target practice on private property.

He admits being at the house where the officer was shot, but denies being the person who wounded the officer in the arm, chest and legs.

He told the jury the only gun he had ever owned is a slug gun, which was worn in a belt as a means of intimidation, and the only time he used a gun was when he fired at trees on private property.