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Teen witness accused of lying to protect herself during Auckland murder trial

By Anneke Smith of rnz.co.nz

A teenager has told a court Dimetrius Pairama would still be alive if she weren't so scared of one of her alleged murderers.

Toko (Ashley) Shane Winter and Kerry Te Amo are on trial in the High Court at Auckland accused murdering Miss Pairama - also known as 'Precious'.

The 17-year-old rough sleeper's body was found in a steel drum at the back of an abandoned state house in Māngere last July.

The court has heard the trio and two teenagers crashed at the house after hanging out in Auckland's CBD one evening.

One of the teenagers has been granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for giving evidence in court.

She told the jury Miss Winter was the group's ringleader, orchestrating the last hours of Miss Pairama's life in the derelict house.

Her evidence is that the 29-year-old beat the teenager before she was tied up, beaten further by Mr Te Amo and then tortured and hung.

The witness said she punched Miss Pairama herself but only because Miss Winter had ordered her too.

The court heard she felt powerless and scared of Miss Winter because she often talked about the Mongrel Mob.

"If I wasn't so scared of her Precious would still be alive."

The court has heard Miss Pairama was abused before Miss Winter gave her a choice of how she wanted to die; by stabbing or hanging.

The immunity witness said she tried to convince Miss Pairama to run from the house but she too was too scared of Miss Winter.

"I asked her if she was all right and she said no. She said she wanted to see her Nana. That's when I got her clothes, gave them to her and said get out the window and go as far as you can.

"But she said she was too scared Ashley would find her again. That's when she told me to tell Ashley she wants to hang herself right at that time."

In cross-examination, Miss Winter's lawyer Matthew Goodwin accused the teenager of lying about Miss Winter's involvement to protect herself.

"You've been offered a sweet deal from the police haven't you?" he asked.

"Yes," she replied.

"You walk free as long as you put the blame on the others?"

"No. If I wanted to cover up for myself I wouldn't have said I touched her."

The teenager said she was ordered to be a lookout at the front of the house while Miss Pairama was killed but didn't go through with this and instead fell asleep; waking up to find her friend dead.

Mr Goodwin said it was "a convenient lie" the teenager was asleep at the time of her friend's death and accused her of dumping more responsibility on his client.

"Well sir, you weren't there. I was. And if you were there you would know what happened so you stick to that and I'll stick to my story because I know my story is the truth," she replied.

Both defendants were charged with murder and kidnapping and had pleaded not guilty to both charges until Miss Winter admitted the kidnapping charge on trial's first day.

The trial before Justice Brewer and a jury continues.

Kerry Te Amo and Toko (Ashley) Shane Winter are on trial in the High Court at Auckland, accused of murdering 17-year-old Dimetrius Pairama. Source: 1 NEWS