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A 13-year-old boy accused of murdering a West Auckland dairy owner will stand trial in November, although his lawyer is concerned he might not understand the seriousness of the charge.
The boy, whose name is suppressed, appeared in the High Court at Auckland today and entered no plea to a charge of murdering father-of-two Arun Kumar.
He also entered no plea to a charge of assaulting Mr Kumar with intent to rob him at his Railside Diary in Henderson earlier this month.
Justice Graham Lang said the boy would stand trial in November.
The 13-year-old will stay in custody until his next appearance in August. Before then a forensic report will be undertaken to assess the boy's fitness to plead.
"I'm not satisfied that he will be able to understand the seriousness of the charges and the court needs to be satisfied of that," his lawyer Maria Pecotic said.
Justice Lang decided the boy's name suppression would continue for fair trial reasons and because it could result in extreme hardship for the boy. The judge said suppression would likely continue until the trial.
Members of the boy's family arrived in court just as he appeared and yelled support for him as he was taken into custody: "Love you bro" and "be strong baby, I love you," they said.
A 12-year-old boy, charged alongside the 13-year-old on the count of assault with intent to rob, is expected to appear in the Auckland Youth Court this afternoon.
Mr Kumar, 57, was stabbed in the neck in front of his wife about 7.30am on June 10.
- By Jimmy Ellingham of APNZ