A construction worker who discovered the beaten body of a
young security guard killed on his first night on the job
"freaked out" when he realised the man was dead, a court has
Charanpreet Dhaliwal, 22, died from multiple skull fractures
and other head injuries after he was struck over the head by
a length of wood at an Auckland building site almost two
A 28-year-old man, who has name suppression, pleaded not
guilty to his murder at the beginning of his trial at the
High Court in Auckland today, as well as a second charge of
assaulting a nightclub doorman on the same day.
Emmanuel Waipouri, a road construction worker with Fulton
Hogan, discovered the body of Mr Dhaliwal, lying in a pool of
his own blood in the early hours of November 18, 2011.
He and a crew of four workers were returning equipment to
Fulton Hogan's Selwood Rd depot in Henderson, west Auckland,
where Mr Dhaliwal had been working his first shift as a
The road workers were unable to open the gate to the yard, so
Mr Waipouri jumped the fence to look for the on-duty security
guard. After searching the site he came across Mr Dhaliwal's
body face-down and "slumped on a concrete slab".
He checked for signs of life, and after failing to find any,
went back to the other workers and phoned emergency services.
"I was freaking out," Mr Waipouri said as he described how he
found the body.
The construction worker also told how nine months later, in
August 2012, he discovered Mr Dhaliwal's wallet discarded in
a nearby construction site.
"I opened it up and had a look and noticed the photograph of
the deceased, and I dropped the wallet straight away and
phoned the superintendent," he said, adding he had recognised
the face and name inside the wallet immediately.
Earlier the court heard the Crown allege the accused,
accompanied by three others, punched a doorman at a bar in
Henderson, after being refused entry.
Prosecutor Yelena Yelavich alleged that a short time later,
when confronted by Mr Dhaliwal at the construction depot, the
accused hit him with an object, which killed him.
In her opening statement, Ms Yelavich, said the accused and
his three friends were attempting to hide in the depot after
running away from the scene of the nightclub assault when
they were approached by Mr Dhaliwal, who told them to leave.
"[The accused], suddenly and without warning, approached Mr
Dhaliwal and struck him with a piece of timber, causing him
to fall to the ground," she said.
He was struck at least twice by what is believed to have been
a length of 4x2, she said.
The gang then stole Mr Dhaliwal's wallet and mobile phone and
fled the scene, later making their way into Auckland city
centre where they continued drinking, Ms Yelavich said.
Defence counsel Lorraine Smith argued it was not her client
who killed Mr Dhaliwal, but other members of the group, some
of whom had gang links.
She said the accused was "the odd man out" and the others
clubbed together to "point the finger" at him for the murder.
She also indicated the defence will argue that a piece of
wood was not the murder weapon.
The jury trial is expected to run for three weeks.
- By Patrice Dougan of APNZ