Mother of fatal bashing victim speaks

From left: Toni Miller, Tariana Jones, Matthew McKinney, Kristofer Jones and Hayden Ranson in Masterton District Court. Photo / File

The mother of a Wairarapa supermarket worker bashed to death in his flat says her son had planned for a quiet night in front of the television when he was attacked.

Glen Jones, 40, died after being beaten in his Featherston home last January.

His mother, Suzanne Jones, began giving evidence in his murder trial today, before Justice Alan MacKenzie and a jury in the High Court at Wellington.

Four people - Kristofer Jones, 23, Tariana Jones, 33, Matthew McKinney, 29, and Hayden Ranson, 28, - have been charged with murder of her son.

A fifth person, Toni Miller, 23, is standing trial on a charge of aggravated burglary with a wooden bat and an axe handle.

Mrs Jones, whose view of the dock and five defendants was blocked by three large black screens, described to the court the last time she saw her son Glen - the afternoon before he was attacked.

"I went to see him because he had a sore arm."

The pair had a close relationship and saw each other on most days, she said.

He had grazed his right arm chopping up a tree from his sister's property.

"He said it was sore, he worried about it because it was hurting and he thought he had something in it. He didn't have anything in it as far as I could see anyway."

"He just loved cutting firewood. He'd sell some of it and give some of it away."

Mrs Jones said she and her granddaughter spent about 20 minutes at her son's flat.

"He said he was probably going to have a sleep and watch some videos later."

He had to get up for work the next day, Mrs Jones said.

A teary Mrs Jones told the court that later that night, she and her husband received a call from their daughter Janine - who with her husband owned the flat Mr Jones was renting - that something was wrong.

A policewoman met her at the flat, she said.

"She just stopped me and said that he'd been hurt and that I couldn't go in there."

Mrs Jones was due to give the rest of her evidence this afternoon.

The court has been told Mr Jones had some disabilities, including learning difficulties and epilepsy. He lived independently at his small flat on Fitzherbert St and had worked at a supermarket for 15 years.

The accused:

* Kristofer Jones, 23 - pleaded not guilty to murder and aggravated burglary with a wooden bat and an axe handle

* Tariana Jones, 33 - pleaded not guilty to murder and aggravated burglary with a wooden bat and an axe handle

* Matthew McKinney, 29 - pleaded not guilty to murder, but guilty to aggravated burglary with a wooden bat and an axe handle

* Hayden Ranson, 28 - pleaded not guilty to murder , but guilty to aggravated burglary with a wooden bat and an axe handle.

* Toni Miller, 23 - standing trial for a charge of aggravated burglary with a wooden bat and an axe handle

Crown case:

* Glen Jones was attacked by the four defendants charged with murder in his Featherston flat, while Toni Miller waited on the street.

* The attack was in retaliation for the alleged rape of a woman. The woman, who was known to the group had made a complaint of rape with the police the month before Mr Jones was attacked. She said he had raped her at his flat when she went to drop off some mail the previous month.

 

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