McLaren Falls death: gang boss gets 13 years

Mitchell Paterson's body was found at McLaren Falls.

They were the three who denied their roles in the callous kidnapping and killing of a small time Hamilton dealer whose body was later found dumped in the water at McLaren Falls.

And now Leon Colin Wilson, Christopher Ramia Smith and Chloe Nardiah-Leigh Kerridge have learned their fate: Jail terms of 13 years, six years and two years respectively.

Following a two week trial in Hamilton in July, Wilson, 49, and Smith, 34, were both was found guilty by a High Court jury of manslaughter of Mitchell Paterson, 26.

The pair were also found guilty of kidnapping, and conspiring to defeat justice, while Kerridge, 27, was found guilty of conspiring to defeat justice and kidnapping.

The trio were back in the same court on Friday for sentencing by Justice Paul Davison QC.

But it was not the first major sentencing for one of the three.

Wilson, the president of the Waikato chapter of the Nomads gang, was convicted and jailed for life for the murder of his former partner Leonie Newman in 1996.

While they were a couple, Wilson had the words "Property of Leon" tattooed on Newman's face, leaving her ashamed to go out in public.

She plucked up the courage to leave him while he was serving a prison term.

But as soon as he got out, he set about tracking her down.

He found her at a party in Huntly. He savagely beat her and the strangled her so hard he broke his thumb. Then he stabbed her 28 times, leaving her lifeless body lying in a pool of blood on a bathroom floor.

According to Wilson, the last words Newman said were "You were the only man I ever loved".

A court-ordered suppression of Wilson's murder conviction was lifted by Justice Davison at Friday's sentencing.

In July last year, Paterson was coaxed into the back of a Subaru Impreza under the guise of a drug deal, after Wilson heard he had been talking about him.

He was to be delivered to Wilson's Pohutukawa Dr home.

But a struggle ensued in the back of the car and Paterson was placed in a choke hold by gang prospect Simon Walker.

By the time they got to Wilson's house in Pohutukawa Drive, Paterson was unresponsive.

Realising the consequences of his actions, Walker performed CPR. But it was too late. 

Paterson's body was found a day later, dumped in the water at McLaren Falls, near Tauranga, in the Bay of Plenty.

Walker, 37, later plead guilty to charges of manslaughter, kidnapping, conspiring to defeat the course of justice and interfering with human remains and was subsequently jailed for seven years.

-Stuff/Mike Mather.




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