Big jail sentences for Hawke’s Bay gang veterans over killing of young father

Three long-time gang members from Hawke’s Bay have been sentenced to jail terms of over 10 years for the killing of a fellow gang member, also from Hawke’s Bay.

The sentences were imposed when Mongrel Mob Aotearoa Manawatu chapter president and former Hawke’s Bay Unicorns rugby league representative Jeremiah Christopher Su’a, 50, brother Mariota Su’a, 45, and Quentin Joseph Moananui, also 45, appeared in the High Court in Palmerston North on Friday, Stuff reported.

Denying murder and other charges, the trio was found guilty of manslaughter in the killing of Codi Jarmen Wilkinson, who was 27 and a father-of-three when he died almost 2 years ago.

Brought up in Napier and entering the gang life in Napier, Jeremiah Su’a was sentenced to 15 years 6 months, Mariota Su’a to 12 years 9 months, and Moananui to 10 years 2 months.

The victim’s hacked body was found on a property at Bunnythorpe, near Palmerston North and between Ashhurst and Feilding on September 27, 2019.

At a 12-week trial which ended in May, the 3 had also been found guilty on a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm relating to injuries to second victim Kyle Rowe, who despite his injuries escaped after an attack the prosecution said started on September 12 – a fortnight before the body was found.

Moananui was also found guilty on two charges of kidnapping, as driver of the vehicle taking the injured men from the scene of the assault in Ashhurst.

The attack was sparked by the gang leader’s rage after Wilkinson and Rowe were said to have robbed a drug leader linked to the chapter leadership.

Stuff reported that Justice Helen Cull, who presided over the trial, on Friday recognised the trio’s “dysfunctional” backgrounds in Hawke’s Bay where they had joined the gang for senses of community and support, which she took into account by a discount of 15 per cent from the starting point she used for determining the sentences.

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