Son, brother murdered
DALE POOLE was closer to his mother Jeannie and sisters (from left) Angelique, Jayne, Suzette and Belinda that any time in their lives when his life was taken. 331071AD
By Dean Taylor
The family of murdered Te Awamutu man Dale John Poole will lay him to rest tomorrow.
The 45-year-old had made a new life for himself in the Bay of Plenty, living in a two-bedroom home in Te Puke and working for the past few years in the horticulture industry.
At about 1am last Friday, in a completely random attack, he was badly beaten up soon after withdrawing $100 from an ATM in Te Puke’s main street and left to die on the footpath. Three teenagers and a 24-yearold caregiver have been charged with murder.
Tauranga CIB Detective Sergeant Greg Turner said two of the teenagers turned up at Te Puke Police Station at 7am on Friday, and the third handed himself in at about 8.30am. They appeared in Tauranga Youth Court on Friday. All were granted name suppression and remanded without plea to appear next month.
Police did not oppose bail, but strict conditions were imposed. They include all the accused, who live in the same neighbourhood in Te Puke, being subject to a 24-hour home curfew - apart from the times when one is allowed to leave home to go to work and the youngest is permitted to attend a training course. The trio are barred from having any contact with each other and any police witnesses.
The woman associate was due to appear in Tauranga Court on Saturday.
Police are still trying to piece together exactly what happened in the early hours of Friday morning, but it appears Mr Poole had spent the early part of the evening drinking at the Te Puke Hotel before crossing the road and spending the few remaining hours of his life at the Stadium Bar.
MOTHER KNEW SON WAS DEAD
Mr Poole’s mother Jeannie Smith said she knew her son had been murdered as soon as she heard the 7am news, even though the victim had not been named.
“I just waited for the Police to arrive and knew what they had to tell me,” she said.
Gathering at the family home with Dale’s body has strangely brought the family closer together. They know many people in the community will know of the family’s past tragedies, and that Dale had been in more than his fair share of trouble in his earlier life. But they also say that he had worked extremely hard to turn his life around, to the point where he was completely anti-violence and would have deplored what happened to him.
And they feel for the families of the offenders, knowing the cycle that Dale was working to free himself from was just starting for them.
“Dale was in a good place in his life,” says Mrs Smith. “He enjoyed drawing and writing poetry, he loved the outdoors and nature, he had friends and was liked,” she says. “Above all he was making his peace with the family and they in turn were showing forgiveness. We were all proud of what he had done for himself. He took responsibility for his past actions and set about making it right. He was almost evangelical about people making changes for the better.”
Tomorrow Dale Poole will be laid to rest by a family who never got to really see the loving son and brother he could have been.