Mobster pleads guilty to manslaughter of rival

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MONGREL Mob member Andre Robert Taiapa has admitted killing a rival gangster by knocking him off his motorcycle at Raukokore.

Tribesman Don Henry Turei jnr, 38, was heading to a wedding reception on his Harley Davidson in November 2016 when he rode past a group of Mongrel Mob members unveiling a plaque at a marae.

He was chased, knocked off his bike, and died near Raukokore Marae in spite of the best efforts of a passing doctor.

Henare Raukokore Swinton, 33, and Jared Renata Te Moana, 34, were arrested six months later and pleaded not guilty to suppressing evidence to help someone avoid a murder conviction.

Then, in November last year, police charged a 38-year-old man with murder.

The NZ Herald reports the man’s name suppression has now lapsed and yesterday Taiapa, a member of the Mongrel Mob chapter based in Porirua, appeared by video link in the High Court at Tauranga.

The murder charge was withdrawn and he instead pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Members of Turei’s family in the public gallery wept when they heard the admission.

Justice Sarah Katz convicted Taiapa and issued a “first strike” warning, which means if he is convicted of another serious violence offence he will serve the full sentence, without parole or early release.

He will be sentenced in the High Court at Rotorua next month.