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Winders' father says he was police target

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 29/08/2016

The father of murder accused Quinton Winders has revealed how police accused him of masterminding stop-go man George Taiaroa's murder.

Max Winders told the High Court at Rotorua that Detective Andy Livingston had prefaced the accusation by saying he had killed Mr Taiaroa.

"I said to him, 'Listen here, boy: One, I don't know this man; two, I don't know his name; three, I don't know where he was, so how can you say to me I killed him?"

Mr Winders, 81, was giving evidence in the trial of his son, who has been charged with murdering Mr Taiaroa at a road construction site near Atiamuri on March 13, 2013.

He said "young Quin" could not possibly have committed that crime because he knew no more about Mr Taiaroa than he did.

Mr Winders said thought the Gestapo had arrived when he saw members of the armed offenders squad approach his rural property on the outskirts of Rotorua two weeks after Mr Taiaroa's death.

"I was brought up in a war zone," he said.

"I thought the Gestapo had come to get me. I thought I was dreaming, but I was not.

"One stepped up and said he had a search warrant for my house. I said, 'Go for your life'. He told me Quin was under arrest. I was shocked. I had no idea."

Mr Winders said he showed police his gun cabinet and rifle under his bed which he had used that morning to shoot rabbits in his wife's vegetable garden.

He had not objected when he was told he would be taken to the police station "because I always co-operate with the police"

Mr Winders said the AOS made a second visit a couple of weeks later.

Under questioning by defence lawyer Jonathan Temm, he said he hadn't heard about Mr Taiaroa's killing until the driver of a car he had backed into at Atiamuri on March 12 told him while they were discussing an insurance claim over the phone 10 days later.

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