Wed 12 Dec 2007 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback View at NDHA
11.15am: Ronald James Brown, 69, died in Auckland Hospital on Monday afternoon after being assaulted at his Onehunga home on Friday, the latest in a string of New Zealand gay men who have died after severe assaults. Ronald Brown (photo: stuff.co.nz) His death comes just days after a jury could not reach a verdict in the brutal 'bash and slash' murder of gay Palmerston North man Stanley Waipouri. Andre Gilling had been charged with the murder, along with Ashley Arnopp who earlier lodged a guilty plea. GayNZ.com sources say they recognise Ron Brown from seeing him at at least one Auckland gay venue over the years, but police are not commenting today on a possible 'gay bashing' aspect to the death. Police would like to hear from patrons of the 306 Bar in Onehunga Mall on Friday evening. It's understood Brown attended the bar and left in the company of a younger man at about 9pm. Police were called to Brown's Mariere Road home at around 12.50am on Saturday morning, where they found him badly beaten on the ground floor, and a 29-year-old man in the upper level of the house. It took four police to get the accused into the police van, a neighbour said. Residents of the suburban cul-de-sac told the New Zealand Herald yesterday that they heard 'piercing screams' and the sound of shattering glass coming from Brown's home on Friday night. The Herald reports that the younger man - a Hungarian tourist named Ferdinand Ambach - was arrested at the scene and appeared in court on Monday charged with Crimes Act Assault and Intentional Damage. At a second court hearing yesterday he was remanded until tomorrow for a bail application hearing. Police have launched a homicide inquiry but say that more serious charges are likely to be laid. Anyone with information should contact the homicide investigation team at Glen Innes Police Station on 09 524 1936. Brown died in Auckland Hospital on Monday at 8.40pm after his life support system was switched off. Gay men who have recently been gay-bashed to death, or killed in other ways because of their sexuality, include: Stanley Waipouri RIP (mutilated and bashed to death, 2006) Robert Hunt RIP (multiple knife wounds, 2004) Robert Green RIP (shot in back of head, 2004) Barry Hart RIP (multiple knife wounds, 2003) David McNee RIP (30 - 50 blows to head, 2003) John Sorrenson RIP (stabbed in back, 2002) Jason Johnson RIP (murdered by a father and son pair, 2001) Jeff Whittington RIP (bashed and stomped, 1999). Killing a man based on his homosexuality is not a new phenomenon in New Zealand. Some of the more contentious historical cases include a 19-year-old New Zealand soldier being let off for killing a 25-year-old American soldier in the 1940s. In 1950s Napier, a gay man visiting his lover on a boat was thrown off the gangplank by other sailors and back onto the wharf, cracking his skull open. They were acquitted on the basis that the ship was their home, giving them the right to stop perverts coming on board. In 1964, six youths who punched and kicked Charles Aberhart repeatedly in the head until he died outside Christchurch's Hagley Park toilets were only charged with manslaughter, and were acquitted by a jury after they claimed self-defence against his propositions. Details of the above attacks and a shocking list of gay New Zealand men savagely beaten, some requiring brain and other surgery and suffering ongoing disabilities, can be accessed at the 'Understandable assaults...' link below. Additionally, we have linked to a comment piece, 'Sorry David...' looking at the often-used so-called 'homosexual panic' legal defense - which the Law Commission last month recommended be wiped from the criminal law books.
Credit: GayNZ.com News Staff
First published: Wednesday, 12th December 2007 - 11:12am
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