In the Auckland High Court today, James Junior Lawrie pleaded guilty to the murder of Bhagubhai Vaghela in the Uptown Minimart, New North Rd, on June 19 last year.
Lawrie also pleaded guilty to:
• the aggravated robbery of Mr Vaghela on the same date,
• the aggravated robbery of Local Liquor, Mt Albert, on May 17, 2005,
• aggravated robbery of Xin Hua Emporium, Glendene, on June 9, 2005,
• aggravated robbery of VIP Massage Parlour, Auckland City, on June 10, 2005,
• aggravated robbery of Misty Valley Wine Merchants, Henderson, on June 11, 2005,
• aggravated robbery of Go Go Music Cafe, Balmoral, June 18, 2005.
Lawrie, aged 26, has been remanded in custody for sentencing in the Auckland High Court on August 22.
Lawrie's co-accused on five counts of aggravated robbery and one of aggravated wounding, Bernard Toailoa, has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is due to appear in the Auckland District Court on July 6.
Detective Inspector Julian Rinckes said today's development was significant and satisfying for all those connected with the investigations into Mr Vaghela's tragic death and the numerous aggravated robberies in the region in May and June last year.
Issued by Noreen Hegarty
Auckland City Police Communications Manager
Ph 09 302 6947 or 0274-951-589