Riki Ngamoki acquitted of murder, admits assaults after brutal jail attack

A prisoner cleared of a jailhouse murder says he wants to open a barbershop in Dunedin after being released from prison.

Riki Wiremu Ngamoki, 22, was acquitted of the murder of Blake Lee following an incident at Paremoremo Prison on March 5 last year, but he admitted intentionally injuring another man during the same fracas, as well as assaulting a Corrections officer.

Justice Simon Moore imposed an additional 23 months on a term of four years the defendant was serving on a range of violence and kidnapping charges.

At sentencing, the court heard Ngamoki — a Killer Beez gang associate — planned to join family in Dunedin when he was finally released.

Counsel Anoushka Bloem said her client had been completing NZQA courses through the Open Polytechnic while behind bars and hoped to find work when he was freed.

“He aspires to open his own salon in Dunedin with the intention of helping other young males struggling on similar pathways,” Justice Moore said.

In letters to the court, supporters described Ngamoki as a “loyal friend”, a “decent person” and a “loving and kind young man”.

However, that was far from apparent during the attack last year.

CCTV showed how the events in the exercise yard unfolded.

Lee and Cesar Su’a were walking together when approached by Lopeti Telefoni and Siuaki Lisiate.

Telefoni, who is awaiting sentencing for manslaughter, punched Lee, causing him to fall backwards on to the concrete.

Lisiate, who pleaded guilty to murder, stomped on his head and stabbed the victim 37 times with a home-made shank.

When Su’a tried to intervene, Ngamoki, quickly followed by Paul Tuliloa, commenced their attack on him.

Su’a was knocked to the floor and repeatedly kicked.

When he attempted to crawl to Lee, he was pushed to the ground again and the kicking continued.

The entire attack lasted about a minute and Lee died at the scene, the judge said.

“Ngamoki and Tuliloa were relentless in their pursuit and attack of Mr Su’a,” said Justice Moore.

Tuliloa, who was serving time for sex and burglary charges, had 22 months’ imprisonment added to his sentence.

Ngamoki will come before the Parole Board in October next year.

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