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Verdict relief for family

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    Verdict relief for family - 23-Jul-2008
    Waipouri's first memory of her brother is of him going to the dairy near their South Auckland home to get milk for the family and returning with a stray puppy.

    He was just five years old.

    The family were gathered together yesterday to see justice served - 39-year-old Stanley Waipouri had been brutally murdered in his Rangitikei Street flat on the night of December 22, 2006.

    He had an affinity for helping others - including offering the men who would be his murderers a place to stay, Ms Waipouri said.

    "The only thing he would have done wrong is trusting those guys [Arnopp and Gilling]."

    He was not perfect - but then no one is, she said.

    Despite having an alcohol addiction, Mr Waipouri was a kind- hearted man who did not deserve his dreadful fate.

    If she had the chance to sit down face-to-face with her brother's murderers she would ask just one question - why?

    "Why would you take advantage of a fella like that?

    "After he offered his house, a roof over your head, a feed and somewhere warm to sit."

    She would write to them eventually to help in her healing, she said.

    "I just can't dwell on it too much because I'll go crazy . . . I'm a vocal person, but I'm not a hateful person.

    "We've tried to get on with our lives as best we can . . . there's always going to be that missing element."

    Their mother is still in hospital after a breakdown brought on by the murder of her son.

    And the birth of his niece two weeks ago was "bitter-sweet" for Mr Waipouri's grieving sister left behind.

    "He could never meet her," Ms Waipouri said.

    He had helped her raise her other children, despite them living in Napier, she said.

    "They have beautiful memories of my brother.

    "My brother hitch-hiked up to see [my son] when he was born."

    Distant elderly relative and good friend Ariki Shortland remembers Mr Waipouri's tendency to perform an impromptu haka from his flat window.

    "He used to do the haka to people walking down the street."

    Mr Shortland used to live in the flat below Mr Waipouri's Rangitikei Street flat - the same address where tenants heard thumping, swearing and loud music on the night of his murder. If he had still lived there that night, things would have been different, he said.

    On the day after his death, Mr Shortland, who Mr Waipouri used to call koro (grandfather), went to the scene to see for himself.

    "I broke down, man I was wild . . . I'm sore inside.

    "I will never forgive what they did to Stan, for a long time."

    Ex-partner and friend of 15 years, Phil Penwarden, remembered talking to Mr Waipouri not long before his death about how he lost his job and was struggling with depression.

    But he still carried out various volunteer duties, with the Salvation Army and a local methadone programme, he said.

    He was also a DJ at a Palmerston North gay bar, which fitted in well with his love of music, singing and partying, he said.

    "He came out in the '80s when all the disco music was happening."

    Talking of his quirks, like baking banana cakes, avoiding noise control and his landlord, and soaking his piles of white socks until they were gleaming, kept Mr Waipouri's family entertained during the hours of Gilling's trial.
    Ref: - Manawatu Standard


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