The unnamed defendant in the Red Fox Tavern trial told police he knew they would turn him over and he had disposed of a shotgun he had because he “freaked out”.
A man with name suppression and Mark Joseph Hoggart are on trial for the 1987 aggravated robbery of the tavern and murder of its owner, Christopher Bush, in Waikato.
The Crown case is that two heavily disguised intruders, clad in balaclavas and gloves, burst in using a back door of the Maramarua tavern on October 24.
It is alleged one fired a sawn-off double-barrelled shotgun killing Bush before his three staff members were tied up and just over $36,000 was stolen.
Both accused men deny the charges.
Detective Sergeant James White interviewed the unnamed defendant in January 1988.
They started discussing the man’s family and background, before he was asked about his associates.
“What about your old mate Charlie Ross?”
He agreed he would hang out with Ross and Hoggart in Napier.
Later, the unnamed defendant was asked for the specific times of his whereabouts over the long Labour weekend that Bush died.
He replied he wanted to speak to his family.
“I’m not the offender for this Red Fox Tavern, no way.”
“I just don’t trust cops.”
He was also asked about the sawn-off shotgun he had used in a Napier vineyard earlier in the same week that Bush died.
“We were just going to use that as a bird gun, it’s got a wide spread. You can get bigger flocks,” he said.
“Well if it’s so good why did you get rid of it?”
“I just freaked out.”
He threw the shotgun into the sea and went to talk to Ross.
“I told him the cops would be probably turning us over” because the Red Fox was like the aggravated robbery they had earlier committed in Auckland.
Later, White said there were “a lot of strange occurrences”.
The unnamed accused had possession of a shotgun five days before the robbery, was in the area and could not “account for the vital 24-hour period”.
“So I have to start thinking whether you were involved.”
No, replied the man, insisting he had explained some of his movements on October 24.
“Did you do the Red Fox that night?”
He laughed and shook his head.
In another interview, he maintained his denial to police.
“F**k, no man. You guys know I have done an armo in the past. It’s a pretty high-profile homicide. You guys have got to get a result. Because I can’t give you my movements, I’m it.”
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