Epsom motel murder: Blood cleaned before police arrived


The Auckland High Court has heard a man who was fatally beaten in a motel room in Epsom probably slept in his car.

Pajamas, a toilet bag and bed pillow were among the items found in the car belonging to Ihaia Gillman-Harris. 

The crown says the car was stolen after the 54-year-old was beaten on December 27th 2014.

Staff at Ascot Motel where began cleaning up blood stains before police could cordon off the room.

Police had to ask two or three workers to stop cleaning about three hours after Gillman-Harris was beaten in Unit one at the motel.

There was blood on the floor, bedding and towels.

Gillman-Harris died in hospital on the same day -- December 27, 2014.

A senior police officer agreed his job would have been easier if the motel room in which a man was fatally beaten had been secured earlier.

The Auckland High Court heard about nine people entered the room and motel staff had begun cleaning blood stains before police put up the cordon.

Two teenagers, Leonard Nattrass-Berquist and Beauen Wallace-Loretz, were charged with his murder and unlawfully taking his vehicle and have pleaded not guilty.

The pair, who was 17 years old at the time of the murder, have also pleaded not guilty to other charges including robbery.

The trial is set to go for four weeks at the High Court in Auckland.