Two convicted of gang violence

July 19, 2017 | By More

Two men said to be associated with the Bandidos gang have been convicted of involvement in a violent incident in which two men were stabbed and a woman assaulted.

The six guilty verdicts were delivered by a Christchurch District Court jury after six hours of deliberation on the eighth day of the gang trial today.

Alvin Ritesh Kumar, a 34-year-old factory hand from Woolston, and Jessie James Winter, 29, will be sentenced by Judge Stephen O’Driscoll on November 29.

They will be joined at the sentencing by two people who pleaded guilty ahead of the trial to similar charges: Nicholas Andrew Hanson, 31, and Stephanie Jane McGrath, 27.

Judge O’Driscoll asked for pre-sentence reports and victim impact reports which will assess the emotional harm for the three victims.

The trial was told that none of the victims were the man the group was seeking when they arrived at a housebus on a property in Johns Road, near Christchurch, late at night on August 30, 2015.

McGrath had a licence to marry the man they were seeking the next day, but there had been a dispute between them on that day. The Crown said the group assembled in Hornby, summoned by phone or text messages, and took knives when they went looking for the groom at 11.45pm.

When the man was not present, Hanson attacked people at the housebus, stabbing two men and assaulting the woman. The Crown said Kumar and Winter were present and part of the plan to seriously assault the groom, and must have known that the violence was likely.

Judge O’Driscoll told the jury yesterday that they must consider whether all four were at the housebus, whether the two men on trial knew that Hanson was armed with a knife, whether Hanson was acting “outside a common agreement” in committing the assaults, and whether “the violence was known to be a probable consequence of acting out the common purpose”.

Hanson was a bandidos gang prospect, the trial was told. The defence said Kumar was not involved with the gang. Winter is the half brother of McGrath.

Judge O’Driscoll remanded the men in custody for sentencing, and read them a first-strike warning on the charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

He thanked the jury for it work over eight days considering “complex and difficult” evidence and legal issues.

Donald Matthews and Claire Boshier appeared for the Crown. Richard Maze and Ethan Huda appeared for Kumar, and Andrew Bailey and Kiran Paima for Winter.

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