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Kidnap trial hears of dangerous liasons

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/11/2016

<span style="font-size:13px;">Nine men who are Head Hunter gang members or associates on trial in the High Court at Rotorua.</span> © Hannah Peters/Getty Images Nine men who are Head Hunter gang members or associates on trial in the High Court at Rotorua. A woman has told a court how two men arrived at her apartment with one claiming her boyfriend, a businessman, had "raped my missus".

Nine men who are Head Hunter gang members or associates on trial in the High Court at Rotorua.

They are Benjamin Paul Dwyer, 28, Stephen William Daly, 33, Jordan Alexander Christian, 21, David Peter Clark, 36, Brent Anthony Gunning, 37, Liam John Kane, 24, Matthew John McDonnell, 45, Stacy Walton Dennis Paora, 29 and Sam Wiremu Rolleston 23. They have pleaded not guilty to more than 100 charges laid either separately or jointly.

They face a raft of charges, including kidnapping the businessman and his young employee, and attempting to extort cars and properties from the former.

The woman said one of the men who came to the apartment was Gunning, whom she knew as Skinner and the other was introduced as Ben.

She had been reluctant let them in, but Skinner said there was a serious matter she needed to hear.

"This man [Ben] started angrily shouting `your boyfriend raped my missus'," she said.

"He asked me if I knew who he was talking about, I said 'no'.

"He said he was this girl's boyfriend; he said, 'I am Ben'. I made it clear to him if he felt victimised, I felt in the same boat."

When the businessman arrived home, he was angry and agitated, saying they needed to leave.

He hadn't given her a chance to tell him what she'd heard, they argued and he left without her.

Gunning and the man introduced as Ben returned telling her she was in danger.

"They said I should be fearing [the businessman]. He was acting irrationally and I needed to go with them."

Saying she would drive herself, she went to the businessman's boat because she wanted to see it for herself and photograph evidence.

The following morning, she received abusive texts from Ben, then he and Skinner appeared in the apartment, cornering her in her bedroom.

She said Ben wrestled her on her bed for the phone demanding to see the boat pictures.

"I was screaming, very much in shock at what was happening ," he said.

"I called 111 on the landline. Ben said, 'You don't know the consequences of what you have done'. I hung up on the operator . . . they took off with my phone."

Feeling unsafe, she locked herself in the bathroom.

The trial continues.

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