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Murder accused refuses to rat on friends

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/02/2017 Ben Leahy

Lance Murphy © Counties Manakau Police Lance Murphy The man accused of murdering Lance John Murphy has erupted in anger and called the prosecution lawyer a c*** for asking him to rat on his friends in court.

Michael Joseph Davies, 52, is standing trial accused of kidnapping long-time friend of 30 years, Mr Murphy, before killing him in Puhoi in November 2015.

Davies' co-accused, 38-year-old Steve Gunbie, is charged with helping in the kidnapping and with hiding the body.

However, on Tuesday, Davies, also known as Michael Waipouri, told the High Court at Auckland, there were up to four unnamed people present during his prolonged assault on Mr Murphy.

When Crown lawyer Gareth Kayes asked him to name these men, saying he was under oath and would be in contempt of court if he lied, Davies turned nasty.

He refused to give up the men's names and looked directly at Mr Kayes, calling him a c***.

Mr Kayes later put it to Davies that he was never scared Mr Murphy would kill him.

He said Mr Murphy had only threatened Davies on one occasion and immediately backed down when Davies confronted him over the threat.

He contested Davies' earlier claim that Mr Murphy had boasted he was a hit man, who had killed 10 people, including a work colleague from a steel factory called Jim Donnelly, who went missing in 2004.

Mr Kayes asked why if Davies was scared had he allowed Mr Murphy to continue acting as a long-time friend by dropping his children to school.

"You are letting your kids go to school with a serial killer?" Mr Kayes asked.

Earlier, Davies told the court he came to increasingly believe Mr Murphy had killed his long-time wife, Wendy Murphy, by giving her a lethal dose of medication when she was sick with cancer in 2015.

He said Mr Murphy had complained about the cost of looking after his wife and that she stank and was unruly.

Davies also believed Mr Murphy, a short time later, played a part in Wendy's mother's death by withholding medication from her.

When Davies shared accusations that Mr Murphy had killed his wife and mother-in-law with a friend, Mr Murphy heard about it and sent men over to intimidate him.

Davies said this was the beginning of a six month campaign by Mr Murphy to get rid of him that included an attempt to frame him for a crime and threat to use him as "a boat anchor".

Davies believed Mr Murphy was possessed by 10 demon heads, representing every person he had killed and that the spirit of Wendy Murphy wished him to take revenge.

He decided he must act first against Mr Murphy.

"I realised I had a loose cannon out on the street with a dark hate for me and the element of surprise on me," Davies said in reference to Mr Murphy.

He then invited Mr Murphy to help him pick up a large delivery of drugs and drove him to co-accused Gunbie's mother's house.

Later that evening, he began his attack on Mr Murphy.

The trial continues.

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