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Indian-origin Auckland man found guilty for policeman's murder

March 14, 2011 - Auckland

A Indian-origin man accused of shooting an Auckland policeman four times has been found guilty of attempted murder.

Neshanderan Rajgopaul, 29, was tried in the Auckland High Court for the attempted murder of Constable Jeremy Snow on December 22, 2009.

The jury returned its verdict after two hours of deliberation, including a lunch break, reported.

The Crown said Rajgopaul - "a small time drug dealer who carried an Arsenal of guns" - fired upon Snow after the officers checked a car they thought was being broken into down a long driveway in Papatoetoe, South Auckland.

The Crown said Snow followed Rajgopaul into the backyard of the property after seeing a gun in the car and Rajgopaul, high on methamphetamine, spun around, dropped to one knee and opened fire up to seven times.

Snow was hit four times and almost bled to death.

Rajgopaul was also found guilty of discharging a firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm for shooting at friend Gavin Lomas when Lomas called out to him as he fled the property.

He was also found guilty of possessing a loaded Ceska Zbrojovka .38 pistol, a loaded Ruger .22 six-shot revolver pistol, and a sawn-off double-barrelled shotgun as well as possession of 5.3g of methamphetamine.

He was found not guilty of posessing another gun.

The defence contended that a third man at the house - also high on methamphetamine - was with Rajgopaul in the garden.

Wearing dark clothes and hidden from sight, it was this man, Darrin Court, who had the gun and shot Constable Snow, the defence said.

The trial lasted a month.


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