15 Jun 2015

Court told of drugs, brain injury

6:41 pm on 15 June 2015

The lawyer for one of the boys accused of taking part in a fatal dairy robbery says it's no secret that drugs were taken inside her 14-year-old client's home.

Arun Kumar.

Arun Kumar Photo: NZ POLICE

Julie-Anne Kincade today opened the defence case for her client, who is charged with murdering Arun Kumar when he was just 13 years old.

Mr Kumar, 57, was stabbed three times at his Henderson dairy on the morning of 10 June 2014.

The 14-year-old is on trial at the High Court in Auckland charged with Mr Kumar's murder.

A 13-year-old boy has also been charged with manslaughter and both boys face charges of assault with intent to rob.

Ms Kincade said family members of the 14-year-old would give evidence about the home he was living at.

She said they would give evidence about the people around him and the places he lived, including his home in Henderson, where people would come and go.

The court has already heard from others who lived at this house. They have spoken of an ashtray and a bong being in the bedroom of the 14-year-old.

Ms Kincade also said there would be evidence from a medical expert, who is expected to talk about the 14-year-old having a traumatic brain injury.

She said the doctor had put the boy through tests.

Ms Kincade said the case would come down to her client's intention. She said he never anticipated, contemplated or planned the crimes the Crown says he committed.

Footage shown in court

The court was today shown footage of the fatal dairy robbery captured by security cameras, which was played at various speeds and several times.

Video expert James Ruhfus, the first defence witness, confirmed at what point the boys entered and - by enhancing the footage - was able to talk about where people's arms were during the tight struggle between the 14-year-old and Mr Kumar.

While all this was shown again to the jury, Mrs Kumar wept in the back of court.

The key piece of footage takes less than a minute in real time but much of today was taken up with the footage being shown in slow-motion.

With the slow motion, it was possible to see that at one point Mr Kumar appeared to pick up some kind of steel pole.

This was as he was standing behind the counter.

The 14-year-old was advancing on him and there was nowhere for Mr Kumar to go.

He appears to try and use the pole to shepherd the boy away but drops it before being locked in a tussle.

It is then that he is stabbed three times and collapses in the doorway to his shop, lying on his right side, where he dies moments later.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs