Dispute over P behind murders
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