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Friend of accused regrets staying silent

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/03/2017

High Court © SNPA High Court A friend of a former sex worker charged with kidnapping and tasering a woman, says she feels guilty for not speaking to police earlier, believing it may have helped prevent a more serious attack.

Cameron Hakeke, also previously known as cinnamon, is charged with kidnapping, aggravated robbery and assaulting a now 20-year-old with a taser on April 23.

Nicola Jones and Julie-Ann Torrance are charged with the same offences.

Jones and Torrance also face an additional charge of attempted murder over a separate kidnapping and attack on the same victim, who was found critically hurt near State Highway 1 north of Auckland in May, 2016.

Wayne Blackett has pleaded guilty to the attempted murder charge.

On Thursday at the High Court at Auckland, Svend Taukiri said former friend and fellow sex worker Hakeke had told her in May 2016 he did not like the victim, who cannot be named, because she owed him rent money.

Hakeke also said he had "rolled" the victim, stealing her belongings, tasering her and shaving her hair, Ms Taukiri said.

She said at the time she thought Hakeke was joking, but later when she heard gossip and media reports about a separate more serious kidnapping of the victim, she became concerned.

She eventually reported what Hakeke had told her to police in September 2016, but thought if she had talked earlier, then the attacks on the victim might not have escalated to a second assault.

In the second attack, Jones, Torrance, Black and Michelle Blom are accused of pulling the victim off a central Auckland road and subjecting her to a long attack in a basement on Great North Road, including cutting her hair, breaking her fingers and sexually violating her.

Prosecutors say Jones, Torrance and Black then drove the victim to the Dome Valley, where they bashed her head at least seven times with a hammer and left her to die on a dirt road just off State Highway 1.

However, Hakeke's lawyer accused Ms Taukiri of having an axe to grind.

He also asked Ms Taukiri if she was aware Hakeke had not been accused of taking part in the second attack on the victim.

Ms Taukiri admitted she wasn't sure of what acts Hakeke was accused of being involved in.

The trial continues.

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