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Jury visits site of stop-go worker's death

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/08/2016

A blue hard hat and tattered high-visibility vest mark the spot where road worker George Taiaroa was fatally shot at point-blank range more than three years ago.

Jurors in the trial of Quinton Winders, 45, who is accused of murdering Mr Taiaroa in March 2013, visited the tranquil site at Atiamuri, south of Tokoroa, on Tuesday.

A handcuffed Winders stood expressionless as they walked the hump-backed bridge where Mr Taiaroa had been controlling traffic with a stop-go sign when he was killed.

The jury was also taken to other areas that have featured in evidence since the trial began in the High Court at Rotorua last week.

Back in the courtroom, jurors continued to hear from Crown witnesses who told of a vehicle approaching them at speed in the period immediately after Mr Taiaroa was shot.

One witness, Ernest Worth, said a dark blue four-wheel-drive appeared in front of him, cutting a corner at speed, and he was forced him to pull to the side of the road.

"I was a bit angry that he was driving very carelessly around the area," he said.

"I thought there could be an accident right there."

Various witnesses have offered differing descriptions of the appearance and age of the person at the wheel of the speeding vehicle.

Mr Worth said the driver was fair-skinned, in his mid-30s and wearing a green bush-type shirt and sunglasses.

The Crown's evidence is expected to move to a new phase on Wednesday and focus on Winders' movements in the days before Mr Taiaroa's death.

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