Video of alleged attempted murder shown to jurors

Video evidence of the confrontation which led to Graeme Burton being charged of attempting to murder a fellow inmate in prison has been played to a High Court jury.

Burton, 38, is on trial in the High Court at Auckland charged with attempting to murder Dwayne Marsh at Auckland Prison at Paremoremo on December 20 last year.

The Crown said Burton stabbed Marsh at least seven times, including three times in the chest, during one of two hour-long spells on the day in which the prisoners were allowed out of their cells.

Marsh was taken to Auckland Hospital, where he needed emergency surgery.

Footage from three security cameras was played to the jury of five women and seven men, showing various views along a landing outside 12 prison cells in a maximum security block at Paremoremo.

The footage showed a man entering the cell of another inmate. A different man was seen backing out of the cell, followed out shortly afterwards by the original man.

The man seen backing out, who the Crown said was Marsh, was seen backing down the hallway three times - twice changing direction - as the original man, who the Crown said was Burton, was moving towards him.

Jurors later heard from prison guards who were on the other side of a grill from the landing about what they saw.

One guard, Merv van Kier, spoke of pulling Marsh away from Burton because he felt Burton was being the more aggressive of the pair.

Once Marsh was on the other side of the grill, he could see blood on Marsh's T-shirt.

Another guard, Ronald Bruce, arrived shortly afterwards and also saw the blood on the T-shirt. He said he took an initially reluctant Marsh to the medical room.

There, he said Marsh "got a bit grey and his eyes rolled" and he had to intervene to stop him falling from the bed.

During the time in the room, Mr Bruce said Marsh drew his attention to a steel rod on a medical trolley.

Neither Marsh nor any other inmate will give evidence at the trial, expected to last four days.

Opening the Crown case, Deb Bell said Burton had a weapon in each hand as he entered Marsh's cell.

She said Burton stabbed Marsh seven times, three times in the heart, with a stainless steel rod sharpened at one end.

Ms Bell told jurors they had to decide whether Burton intended to kill Marsh.

"The Crown says stabbing a man at least seven times, three of them in the chest and heart area, is certainly indicative of someone intending to kill someone else," she said.

Justice Tony Randerson told jurors prior to Ms Bell's address that they needed to keep an open mind and consider the evidence fairly and dispassionately.

Justice Randerson made a number of suppressions including that no historical photos of the accused be published.

The trial is due to last three days.

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter