'Indescribable' grief: Buis family's anguish over death

Police have not ruled out further arrests 17 months on from the parkside killing of a Dunedin man.

Lance Colin Robert Moore, 36, stood alone in the dock of the High Court at Dunedin yesterday where Justice Jonathan Eaton jailed him for four years and one month for the manslaughter of Sean Buis, 28.

Moore was the one who rammed his vehicle into the victim, a man from whom he was chasing a $350 debt.

But there were others involved in the incident who may not yet be off the hook.

Despite the victim’s death coming in July last year, Detective Senior Sergeant Nik Leigh confirmed there was a possibility of further charges being laid.

Lance Colin Robert Moore.
Lance Colin Robert Moore.
A Buis family member, who asked not to be named, said the grief had been "indescribable".

"It affects every aspect of life in some way or another.

"It is difficult to deal with and process," he said.

He said he felt only "anger and disgust" for the people involved in Mr Buis’ death.

"I cannot forgive them for what they have caused.

"They have taken away an unknown future.

"The loss of life was purely for selfish reasons, and unbelievably unnecessary."

It began with a drug deal.

Moore supplied meth to Teryn Uren on tick — agreeing she would settle the $350 bill later.

She planned to share some with Mr Buis and repay the debt by selling the remainder, but she believed the victim ripped her off.

The disagreement set in motion a chain of events that reached crescendo on July 21 last year.

To get the cash out of Mr Buis, Ms Uren first had to find him, so she enlisted the help of Christopher Gibbs.

Mr Gibbs set up a meeting with the victim — one he never planned to attend — at Unity Park that evening.

Ms Uren later met Braden Ward, who also claimed Mr Buis owed him money.

They called him and demanded immediate payment.

Mr Ward threatened to recruit Joshua Allen, a 501 deportee who, he said, had spent time behind bars for shooting someone in Western Australia.

When Mr Buis ended the call, both Mr Ward and Ms Uren knew where he would be and when.

The former made good on his threat and called Mr Allen.

Meanwhile, Ms Uren had devised her own plan.

She advised Moore of Mr Buis’ location and he set off in a borrowed Ford Falcon.

However, when he arrived at the Mornington park, Moore realised he was not the only one tracking the victim.

He saw Mr Allen chasing Mr Buis across the grass and, after hearing shots from the victim’s BB gun, he made a U-turn and drove up Eglinton Rd to cut him off.

"The defendant drove directly at the victim intending to knock him down," court documents said.

But before the collision, Mr Buis tripped and was dragged under the car for several metres, sustaining catastrophic injuries.

When Moore returned the damaged car, he said he had "hit a dog".

The defendant was interviewed a month after the incident and while he admitted being the driver, he claimed he was simply going to meet Ms Uren after she called him for help.

He did not know Mr Buis or anything about a drug debt, he told officers.

The killing came almost exactly two years after Moore got home detention for an earlier episode involving wild driving and violence.

In that incident, after trying to force another motorist off the road, the victim stopped at a service station in Cumberland St, where Moore and an associate threw 20 punches at him, then threw his keys over a fence.

Crown prosecutor Richard Smith noted the defendant was on bail at the time of the manslaughter and was breaching a driving ban, something he had done eight times in the past.

Referring to a report about his client’s upbringing, counsel Kerry Cook suggested a criminal lifestyle was almost unavoidable.

"There is an unfortunate inevitability about some of the positions he was going to be placed in in later life," he said.

The judge described the write-up as "harrowing" and highlighted the neglect Moore suffered at the hands of his mother, which had him foraging for wood to heat water in which to wash.

The dysfunction continued in state care and the report said the defendant was exposed to drugs and alcohol from an early age.

When the Otago Daily Times spoke to Ms Uren, she refused to discuss the case.

"Why the f ... do you think I would answer any questions?" she asked.

"Do you want to ask me if you’ve put my life in danger?"

Others implicated in the case could not be reached for comment but their criminal exploits had recently made headlines.

Mr Allen got home detention for a gang-related standover in January last year and just four months after Mr Buis’ death he was socialising in Queenstown when he punched a man, causing a fractured skull and brain bleed for which he spent seven months behind bars before being sentenced to community work and intensive supervision.

Mr Ward racked up a string of convictions last year, for an "out-of-control" seven-month meth-fuelled spree of threats and violence.

Justice Eaton declined to impose a minimum period of imprisonment on Moore and the ODT understands he will be eligible for parole early next year.


The players


The orchestrator

Teryn Joy Uren, 31

—  Unhappy with Sean Buis over alleged $350 drug debt

—  Arranged Mr Gibbs to set up meeting with victim at Unity Park

—  Informed Mr Moore of the victim’s location



The killer

Lance Colin Robert Moore, 36

—  Sold drugs to Ms Uren

—  Drove to Unity Park to recover $350 debt she pinned on Mr Buis

—  Ran him down in red Ford Falcon



The enforcer

Joshua Greg Allen, 33

—  Instructed by Mr Ward that Mr Buis would be at Unity Park

—  Chased the victim across the grass before he was killed

—  Previous convictions for violence here and in Australia



The lure

Christopher Ziggy Gibbs, 32

—  Set up meeting to buy drugs from Mr Buis

—  Had no intention of turning up

—  Fed information to Ms Uren about time and location of meeting



The aggrieved

Braden Ray Ward, 24

—  Claimed Mr Buis also owed him money

—  Made threats to him over phone

—  Informed Mr Allen when victim would be at Unity Park


rob.kidd@odt.co.nz , Court reporter