Mongrel Mob member pleads guilty to a charge of being accessory after the fact to manslaughter

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A Mongrel Mob member has admitted helping a fellow gang member burn the van involved in a crash which killed a Tribesman gang member.

Jared Renata Te Moana pleaded guilty in the High Court at Rotorua on Monday to a charge of being an accessory after the fact to manslaughter.

The offending happened on November 26, 2016, in the Waihau Bay area, South East of Opotiki.

It was the day of a tangi, the unveiling of a gravestone for a resident and previous captain of the local Mongrel Mob chapter, and the marriage of a couple with connections to the Tribesman Motorcycle gang, according to the summary of facts.

Earlier in the day, Mongrel Mob members and the Tribesman motorcyclists had agreed the Tribesman would remove their gang regalia while attending the wedding.

Tribesman gang members Don Henry Turei Jnr and his brother weren't aware of the arrangement and drove past a Mongrel Mob pad that afternoon on the way to the wedding reception.

They were pursued by Andre Robert Taiapa in a van. Taiapa accelerated into the back of Turei's bike knocking him off, according to the summary.

Turei died near Raukokore Marae despite the efforts of passing motorists to save him.

Earlier in May Taiapa pleaded guilty to manslaughter and will be sentenced in the High Court at Rotorua next month.

Six months after the incident, two men including Te Moana, 34, pleaded not guilty to suppressing evidence to help someone avoid a murder conviction.

But yesterday, he was arraigned and entered a guilty plea to being accessory after the fact to manslaughter.

After Turei's death Te Moana had gone to pick up Taiapa.

The pair took the car to a concealed location, and, a while later, stripped it of identifying features such as the number plates and damage.

At 10pm, Te Moana, and another man drove the van to the banks of the Raukokore River and set it on fire.

The van which hit Don Turei was dumped beside the Raukokore River and set alight. Photo / SuppliedThe van which hit Don Turei was dumped beside the Raukokore River and set alight. Photo / Supplied

"Prior to heading down to the river the defendant Te Moana acknowledged the vehicle had been used in the murder of the deceased and was to be destroyed," the summary read.

"The vehicle was completely destroyed by the fire when it was located by police in the following days."

After his plea, Te Moana was remanded on bail until sentencing.

Justice Timothy Brewer called for a pre-sentencing report which included looking into the feasibility of home detention as a sentence.

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