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Mongrel Mob gang attack: Jail terms for murder, manslaughter in Hastings’ Darcy Strickland case

Ric Stevens,
Publish Date
Mon, 22 Apr 2024, 8:52pm

Mongrel Mob gang attack: Jail terms for murder, manslaughter in Hastings’ Darcy Strickland case

Ric Stevens,
Publish Date
Mon, 22 Apr 2024, 8:52pm

Louise Strickland says her heart was “totally shattered” when two gang associates stomped on and beat her son Darcy to death on the street where he grew up.

The beloved 29-year-old schoolteacher and aspiring rugby professional suffered unsurvivable head injuries and was suffocated by his own blood after the attack on the night of October 13, 2022.

A younger female relative who had been walking home with him on Ramsey Cres in the Hastings suburb of Flaxmere went to his aid and was also beaten and stomped unconscious.

Darcy’s mother gave a victim impact statement in the High Court at Napier on Monday as the two men who killed her son were sent to prison.

One was convicted of murder and one of manslaughter.

She said words could not express how hard it was losing her “loving son” to homicide.

“Honestly, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.”

She said Darcy would forever hold a special place in her heart.

“I am very proud of you and your achievements, and I will continue to love you eternally, son.”

Louise Strickland said Darcy was a person who spread a “contagious radiance of happiness” wherever he went.

A talented artist, her son was also loved by the children he taught at Irongate primary school in Hastings, and generous to the point of paying for the groceries of a woman who found herself short of money in the supermarket.

Louise Strickland also said that at the time of his death, Darcy had recently returned from France and was looking forward to going back to discuss a contract with the rugby club CS Vienne.

Sentences handed down

In court on Monday, Alizaye Kireka Windzar Todd, 21, was jailed for life after pleading guilty to Strickland’s murder and injuring the female relative with intent to do grievous bodily harm. He will serve at least a minimum non-parole period of 12 years.

The second attacker, Keontay Wayne Chadwick, 24, who joined in when Strickland was already unable to defend himself, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was jailed for three years and 11 months.

Both men are associated with the Mongrel Mob. Todd appeared in court with Mob tattoos on his face and the back of his head.

A witness said Todd appeared to have enjoyed beating and stomping on Strickland, laughing and landing well-aimed blows.

Darcy Strickland had travelled overseas and was intending to return to France when he was killed.  Photo / Supplied

Darcy Strickland had travelled overseas and was intending to return to France when he was killed. Photo / Supplied

Summarising the attackers’ backgrounds in two separate sentencing hearings on Monday, Justice Peter Churchman said they had both grown up in gang environments and both had prior convictions for violence.

Both Todd’s parents were in prison at times during his upbringing, and he had been subjected to violent discipline in the various homes he was placed in.

He was in state care by the age of 13 and using alcohol and drugs – cannabis, methamphetamine and MDMA – from a young age.

He had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and ADHD.

Chadwick was the son of a senior Mongrel Mob member and his father had also spent much of his childhood in prison.

He had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, but often failed to take his medication, and was addicted to methamphetamine.

The court was told Chadwick had been involved in an altercation with the 24-year-old female victim before the attack, during which she had pushed him in the chest before Strickland calmed her down.

Chadwick then sought out Todd, and the two of them went looking for the pair.

Attack went on for several minutes

When they found them, Todd began hitting Strickland, knocking him to the ground. Todd then stomped on Strickland multiple times, targeting his head and neck, while Chadwick watched.

Towards the end of the attack, Chadwick joined in.

The attack went on for several minutes, while Strickland lay on the ground, eventually becoming unconscious, at which point Todd approached some people nearby who had seen what was happening.

He asked one of them for a knife so he could “finish it”.

The woman victim tried to intervene, pleading with the two to stop attacking Strickland. She bent down on one knee over her relative.

Todd then punched her repeatedly, causing her to fall to the ground.

As she was lying prone, Todd stomped on her face about five times, saying “You want some of this?”

After the woman was beaten unconscious, Todd turned towards the bystanders, who fled.

Mongrel Mob slogan used

As they left the area, Todd was heard saying “Seig f..... heil”, a Mongrel Mob slogan.

A member of the public found the injured pair and went to their help as the woman regained consciousness.

She was badly injured around the face. Strickland was already dead.

The next day, Chadwick visited his probation officer and told him he had been in a fight in which a man had “got smashed over”.

He told the officer it was “really scary” and he had joined in to help his associate because “the bro was about to lose”.

Chadwick pleaded guilty after an assessment deemed that he was mentally fit to do so.

Brother tells murderer, ‘You’re a coward’

Strickland’s brother, Jermaine Harris-Strickland, said to Chadwick in court on Monday that he hoped he got the help he needed.

He said to Todd: “The reality is, you’re a coward.

“You think you are hard but you needed someone to help you take my brother out,” he said.

He criticised the younger members of the Mongrel Mob who used “mob mentality” to hurt people.

“All of us here are whānau in one way or another. We all need to be better,” Harris-Strickland said.

“Our people need to stop doing this. Our people need to look out for each other.

“Please be better. Please do better,” Jermaine told the two accused.

Jermaine Harris-Strickland addressed himself to his brother's killers in court. Photo / Paul Taylor

Jermaine Harris-Strickland addressed himself to his brother's killers in court. Photo / Paul Taylor

Family statement describes ‘genuine love’

Outside the court, the family issued a statement saying no one could replace Darcy, “his genuine love he had for us all and the limitless joy he brought to the lives of all who were fortunate enough to know him”.

“As a family we have had to endure a year’s worth of court proceedings in order to bring those who took him from us to justice.

“It has been a roller-coaster of emotions.

“We’ve gone from being fine one minute to, then, another court case bringing it all to forefront again, which has been extremely difficult to endure.

“But we are glad that we are finally coming to the end of his case and that those responsible are being held accountable for their heinous actions against Darcy,” the statement said.

“We want to sincerely thank everyone for all the love and support they have shown our family and for the happy reminders we all receive on a daily basis from others in sharing their special moments of Darcy with us.”

Detective Sergeant Kate Hyde said that on behalf of the Hawke’s Bay Police, she wanted to acknowledge and thank the members of the community who provided information that helped hold the killers to account.

“We know there were people who were reluctant to speak to police due to the gang connections of the two men responsible for Darcy’s death, so I commend those who did come forward for doing the right thing by Darcy and his whānau.”

This article was originally published on the NZ Herald here.

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