Dis­pute over P be­hind mur­ders

Rotorua Daily Post - - FRONT PAGE - Jill Ni­cholas

James Fleet, 26, was only killed be­cause he was wit­ness to his un­cle’s mur­der.

James’ fate was sealed af­ter see­ing his un­cle Ray­mond Fleet, 51, beaten to death with a shovel over a drug dis­pute by his killer Martin Hone.

Jus­tice Ge­of­frey Ven­ning re­vealed this as he out­lined the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the pair’s mur­ders at Ma­maku on Au­gust 7 last year.

He was sen­tenc­ing Martin Hone, 36, in the High Court at Ro­torua yes­ter­day be­fore a pub­lic gallery packed with mem­bers of the Fleet fam­ily. It fol­lowed a tear­ful vic­tim im­pact state­ment from the younger Fleet’s mother.

The judge de­scribed how Hone had be­come para­noid that Ray­mond Fleet had been with­hold­ing some of the drug that had been man­u­fac­tured at the re­quest of the Mangu Kaha chap­ter of Black Power.

Hone’s para­noia be­gan when the first batch man­u­fac­tured yielded only an es­ti­mated 120g when more had been ex­pected. Hone had sus­pected Ray­mond had kept some back for him­self.

Af­ter bury­ing the “clan lab” (clan­des­tine lab­o­ra­tory) Hone, with al­leged as­so­ci­ates who can­not be named for le­gal rea­sons, took the Fleets into the bush near Ma­maku where vi­o­lent as­saults were in­flicted on them.

En­raged, Ray­mond Fleet had started to fight back but was at­tacked with a shovel then, when he fell to the ground, driven over sev­eral times.

James Fleet had also been at­tacked with the shovel, both men suf­fer­ing se­vere head in­juries which caused their deaths.

It was 10 days be­fore po­lice found their bod­ies.

Turn­ing to Hone’s per­sonal cir­cum­stances, the judge noted he was a patched Black Power mem­ber and had al­ready been is­sued with a first strike warn­ing which meant any term of im­pris­on­ment he served for mur­der would be for life. That first strike had come when he was con­victed and jailed for a se­ri­ous sex­ual as­sault.

The judge noted a med­i­cal re­port found Hone suf­fered from an an­ti­so­cial per­son­al­ity dis­or­der and post trau­matic stress syn­drome. He had a se­ri­ous mis­trust of oth­ers and re­cur­ring at­tacks of panic and para­noia.

He branded Hone’s ac­tions as “vi­cious, vi­o­lent, de­lib­er­ate dou­ble mur­ders” which had a huge im­pact on the Fleet fam­ily.

“These were sense­less deaths [caused by] some mis­taken be­lief

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