Search Browse On This Day Map Quotations Timeline Research Free Datasets Remembered About Contact

Rotorua: 12 years jail for gay man's murder

Fri 7 Dec 2012 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

A Rotorua man has been jailed for a minimum of 12 years for the murder of gay man Roman Skorek, who angered a group of men when he took a sexual interest in one of them. One of four accused in the case, 21-year-old baker Rawiri James Samuel, has been sentenced at the High Court in Rotorua after he admitted murdering the 64-year-old. On 23 January Skorek was found dead in Kuirau Park, which is a well-known cruising area. He ultimately died from a stab wound to the chest. Samuel told police he stabbed Mr Skorek in the face and upper chest before giving the knife to another person in the group. Justice Mary Peters sentenced him to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 12 years. She said it was not clear whether he had inflicted the fatal blow. She said whether Skorek had made advances to one of the group was "entirely irrelevant" and did not warrant the reaction shown by Samuel. Three other men - Simon Herewini, 21, Leslie McKay Glen, 14, and William Karauna Edwards, 15 - have pleaded not guilty to murder and will stand trial in the High Court in Feburary. Skorek usually spent his time between homes on Great Barrier Island and in Niue. Police summary of facts: The police summary of facts says Skorek was in Kuirau Park on 23 January, when Samuel and several others arrived with a cask of wine stolen from a supermarket. Skorek joined them and they exchanged pleasantries, but when Samuel saw him looking at his genital area he became angry and launched a torrent of abuse, which was heard by other park users. Samuel calmed down and the group returned to the supermarket where more wine was stolen. Back at the foot pools they shared the wine with Skorek and he asked them to go for a walk with him. The police summary says they followed and, between them, hit him in the face but despite pleading to be left alone Skorek was repeatedly kicked about the head by Samuel. As he lay prone his chest had been jumped on for an estimated 10 minutes. He was left on the ground and the group went to Rotorua Hospital's nearby grounds where they stole items from Skorek's bag. The group returned to the unconscious Skorek who was “making a snoring noise and twitching”. He was again kicked in the head and his chest was slashed with a knife. One of the group cut the victim’s throat using a knife from Skorek’s own pack. The summary said Skorek had had a deep skull fracture and his carotid artery severed. He also suffered severe bruising and lacerations. His death was caused by a stab wound to his chest.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Friday, 7th December 2012 - 9:09am

Rights Information

This page displays a version of a article that was automatically harvested before the website closed. All of the formatting and images have been removed and some text content may not have been fully captured correctly. The article is provided here for personal research and review and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of If you have queries or concerns about this article please email us