Sunday, May 19, 2024

Additional charges laid over homicide

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Four people are facing criminal charges following a fatal altercation in this Highbrook car park. Times photo Wayne Martin

Three people have appeared in court in relation to a fatal assault in east Auckland late last year that led to a man’s death.

The incident happened in a car park in Lady Fisher Place, Highbrook, in the early hours of November 13.

A 26-year-old man, whose name is suppressed, was killed and three others were seriously injured.

Police have charged 17-year-old Soldier Huntley with murder and two counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

A police spokesperson says four people are now before the courts in relation to the homicide investigation.

“Two 25-year-old men and a 26-year-old man are before the court on a variety of charges.

“Those charges include wounding with intent, injuring with intent and doing a dangerous act.”

Three defendants in the case appeared in the Auckland High Court on March 8.

Immediately following the incident last year, Detective Inspector Tofilau Fa’amanuia Va’aelua of Counties Manukau Police’s criminal investigation branch said three people with serious stab wounds and one person with a serious gunshot wound had self-presented at Middlemore Hospital at around 4.30am on November 13.

One of the injured people subsequently died from his injuries.

Police cordoned off the scene near Highbrook Drive and publicly appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

Investigators also wanted to hear from people who had video footage of the assault.

An online portal allowing people to upload photos and video was set up.

“Police believe there were a large number of people present in the carpark and surrounding area at the time of the altercation,’ Va’aelua said at the time.

“It is likely some of these people had their phones recording their night out and may have captured parts of this tragic incident.”

In December last year the Howick Local Board voted to implement a 24/7 alcohol ban at the Highbrook boat ramp and car park in Lady Fisher Place, which is where the fatal assault took place, and on publicly accessible adjacent grass and coastal areas.

Auckland Council received two requests in September last year for an alcohol ban at the location.

Work by council staff identified moderate to high levels of alcohol-related disorder in the area.

There were 17 incidents of disorder caused or made worse by alcohol there over a period of 10 months.

Examples include four involving intimidation, aggression toward the public or assault with a deadly weapon.

One saw 15 people fighting, two gunshots fired, one person suffering a gunshot wound and bottles thrown at a person on the ground.

In another, a group of eight to 10 people were drinking in the car park, disturbing bystanders by arguing and throwing glass bottles on the ground and in front of businesses.

Another occasion involved 30 youths and 10 vehicles in the car park, drinking and throwing bottles, blocking an entrance to private property, dancing in the road and playing loud music.

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