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John summarises your legal rights if you find yourself charged with an offence.


High Court jurors are now pondering whether three men accused of robbing and killing a drug dealer realised his death was the likely outcome when they arrived at his house and one of them shot him.

Whakapumautanga “Cookie” Clarke, 25, Cody Paul Griffin, 25, and Daniel George Chase, 22, are standing trial in Hamilton on charges of murder and aggravated robbery.

Munro asked the jurors to think about the “common intention …. What was their agreement?”

“This was a low-level, unsophisticated plan, done on the hoof, to go out and shake the money tree.”


An HIV positive man convicted for not taking precautions and infecting his partner has had his jail sentence reduced.

[Mr F] was initially sentenced to two years and 10 months in prison but took his case to the Court of Appeal.

Today in Auckland District Court his sentence was reduced to 10 months after a second sentencing hearing.

A jury found [Mr F] guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with reckless disregard and criminal nuisance in March last year.

However, his lawyers Paul Borich QC and John Munro argued at the Court of Appeal that both charges related to the same offending and therefore constituted double jeopardy.

They also argued that the district court judge mis-directed the jury when she told them that infecting someone with HIV constituted grievous bodily harm.

The Court of Appeal ruled that should have been left up to the jury to decide and ordered a retrial.

The Crown had pursued a retrial but [Mr F] admitted the charge of criminal nuisance today and a trial was not necessary.


Lawyers arguing for the acquittal of eight Mangu Kaha gang members on trial for an armed confrontation with Mongrel Mob adversaries say there’s a lack of evidence to identify them.

The defendants face 20 various charges over conflict in Western Heights on December 11, 2015.

[W]’s lawyer John Munro argued that while the then 16-year-old had been seen in a car after the confrontation he hadn’t been present during it.

He disputed a secret witness’ claim she saw him at the fence line, emphasising her view was obscured by a loaded trailer.

Munro described the participation in a criminal group charge as one of the law’s most complex because of its numerous elements, warning jurors this made it one of the most difficult to prove.

An Auckland man convicted of knowingly infecting his partner with HIV has received a lesser sentence because of advances in treating it.

[His] lawyer John Munro told the court a similar case from the ’90s being used to guide the prison sentence length should be adjusted given today’s societal and technological advances around the virus.

“The Crown have relied on a 1995 case of Mwai which was 22-years-ago when you died from HIV once it turned to AIDS and there’s no medication to assist a person.”


A west Auckland teenager who died after being punched at a rugby training session in 2013 had an underlying heart problem, with the stress of the assault inducing a heart attack, a coroner has found.

John Munro, the lawyer for one of the brothers involved, said the coroner’s finding had no bearing on the question of criminal liability and did not affect the discharge without conviction.

Michael Waipouri has been found guilty of murdering and kidnapping Waiuku man Lance Murphy.

With self-defence no longer able to be considered, Waipouri’s lawyer John Munro urged the jury to instead return a verdict of manslaughter.

“I’m not asking you to return verdicts of not guilty to murder, we don’t have self-defence anymore. But what you now have the ability to do is return a verdict of manslaughter. It’s a middle ground and one step lower than murder. If you have any reasonable doubt, you can do that.”

A man had a “significant fall from grace” after punching his partner in the face and threatening to stab her, a court has heard.

The man was refused a discharge without conviction after appearing for sentencing at the Waitakere District Court on Tuesday.

Instead he was convicted and discharged without sentence, after Judge Thorburn said the defendant had already been punished “well and beyond what the law can do”.

A Chiefs player has been ordered to pay $3000 to the young girl who was bitten by his pitbull.

The former Warriors player, was also ordered to pay an $850 fine and $130 court costs when he appeared in the Auckland District Court this afternoon after his pit bull, Son-Son attacked the child in March.

Kane Radford, the kiwi open-water swimmer, has been added to the New Zealand Olympic team for Rio.

He has been selected to race in the men’s 10 kilometre event after successfully appealing his initial non-nomination.

The Sports Tribunal asked Swimming New Zealand selectors to reconsider their decision and they’ve obliged, with the NZOC ratifying his selection.

In a swimming career which began when he was two years old, crime barrister John Munro competed at two Commonwealth Games – the first when he was 17 – and held the New Zealand 400 metres individual medley record for ten years.

“I started swimming very young … My mother tells me it was because I was energetic in the womb and she wanted to get me into a sport as soon as possible…” says John, head of criminal law chambers at Auckland’s Sentinel Chambers, which he formed in 2009.

He got into law because it offered challenges similar to top-level competitive swimming.

Stephen Dudley’s father could only contain his anger and grief for so long.

On Thursday, Brent Dudley erupted as the Chief High Court judge, Justice Winkelmann discharged his son’s attacker without conviction.

Stephen Dudley was only 15 when he was bashed.

The West Auckland teenager died after a fight after a school rugby practice.

He had a pre-existing heart condition.

Even the most hardened criminals are vulnerable and deserve a fair trial, John Munro says.

The barrister of 14 years specialises in the criminal defence side of the justice system, from murder trials to traffic tickets.

Munro, 42, studied law at the University of Auckland and practises alongside six other specialists at Auckland’s Sentinel Chambers on Victoria St West.

From a woman who was allegedly assaulted by police to a teen accused of manslaughter, Munro has almost seen it all.