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Co-accused was crying days after motel attack

Mon 11 Apr 2016 In: New Zealand Daily News View at NDHA

Ihaia Gillman-Harris Leonard Nattrass-Bergquist was seen crying and stressed in the period between an attack on gay man Ihaia Gillman-Harris and when he was arrested four day later. A cousin of co-accused Beauen Wallace-Loretz, whose testimony was not contested by the defense teams of either Nattrass-Bergquist and Wallace-Loretz, has shone a light on the activities of the both of the co-accused and an associate in the days between the Saturday December 27, 2014, attack on Gillman Harris and their arrest, a period during which Nattrass-Bergquist was seen to be in tears. Gillman-Harris died in a hospital operating theatre soon after the attack. The witness said in the hours immediately after the attack, during which she was with Wallace-Loretz and Nattrass-Bergquist, her cousin seemed to be in a social mood. “I noticed nothing unusual at a party” attended by the pair on that Saturday night she said. However, she became aware in the early hours of Sunday morning that they were texting each other frequently. She says she had been to a Pt Chevalier service station with several friends, amongst them an associate of Wallace-Loretz and Nattrass-Bergquist who she described as having distinctive tattoos and a Crips tattoo on one hand. She says this man tried to use a blue credit card to purchase cigarettes. The transaction was declined and although she had held the card briefly she does not recall whose name was on the card. The next day she says she met Wallace-Loretz “and I said ' What's up' and he looked at me weird.” She said both of the accused were “busy contacting people by phone...Beauen was crying, one of them said 'It's on video'”. She also said she was in a car with the pair in South Auckland when Wallace-Loretz suddenly said: “That's the pillowcase on the side of the road.” They went to another party after which she departed for Whangaparoa. “That was the last time I saw Beauen and Leonard.” Intense cross-examination regarding head wounds suffered by Ihaia Gillman-Harris have dominated High Court proceedings this afternoon. The defence teams repeatedly questioned forensic pathologist Dr Paul Morrow as to whether his estimate of the number of head impacts indicated by Gillman-Harris's skull fractures could be relied on. Morrow remained insistent that although his determination of the number of impacts was based on his interpretive experience and not black and white data he is quite certain “there was evidence of three impact events on the right side of the head, at least one impact on the left side and very possibly one on top of the head... a minimum of four and more likely five." Morrow was also closely questioned about the role a narrowing of Gillman-Harris's heart arteries would have played in his death. He remained firm in his view that the attack victim would not have died had the attack not occurred.    

Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff

First published: Monday, 11th April 2016 - 8:10pm

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