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Saturday 09 April 2016


Gillman-Harris bruised, bloodied, motel 'trashed'

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By GayNZ.com daily News staff - 5th April 2016

Gillman-Harris_1_3.jpg
Ihaia Gillman-Harris
The gay man who died hours after being attacked in an Epsom, Auckland, motel in December 2014, was bruised, bloodied and in an agitated and incoherent state when motel staff noticed him trying to open doors of cars parked near his motel unit, a high court jury has heard.

The crown alleges Ihaia Gillman-Harris was murdered by two teenagers who accompanied him to the motel intending to assault and rob him. The defense contends that his injuries were sustained by the alleged attackers reacting to an indecent assault.

Police and ambulance officers called to the incident by motel staff say Gillman-Harris, who has been described by one staffer as “a genuine guy... a nice guy” was bleeding heavily from his nose and less so from a wound on his leg. He had extensive bruising to his head and neck, one arm and an ankle. An ambulance officer described long, narrow “high impact” bruises to his abdomen and flanks, consistent with being hit with an object such as a bat.

Gillman-Harris was groaning and reacting to pain with impaired consciousness, poor coordination and was in a highly aggitated and at times aggressive state which the medics characterised as being consistent with a severe head in jury. He had to be restrained at times by police and ambulance officers and strapped into a stretcher on the brief journey to hospital where he was soon assessed as being in critical condition and died in an operating theatre some three hours later.

Witnesses have described the motel unit as being bloodied and “trashed” with shattered glass from a broken coffee table and a broken fan lying on the floor in two parts.

Earlier, motel staff had told the court Gillman-Harris booked into the motel, without apparent luggage, in the early morning, advising them that he had “two nephews” with him who would leave after a couple of hours. “I think they're going to a concert,” he allegedly said. Gillman-Harris had used the motel on several previous occasions, including in April 2014 when he checked in with another adult.

Throughout this morning's court session before a jury of nine women and three men, Beauen Wallace-Loretz and Leonard Nattrass-Berquist, who have both pleaded not guilty to murder, have sat in the dock accompanied by two security guards. Generally attentive but impassive, they have at times been referring intently to a booklet of police and witness photos of the crime scene provided to lawyers and the jury.


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