Red Fox Tavern cold case: Trial begins in High Court

The trial of two men accused of being behind the infamous fatal Red Fox Tavern robbery in Maramarua has begun with the empanelling of 12 jurors.

Mark Joseph Hoggart, 60, and a man with name suppression are jointly charged with the aggravated robbery and murder of its publican, Christopher Bush, on October 24, 1987.

It is alleged cheques and cash to the value of just over $36,000 were stolen.

The jury – consisting of seven men and five women – that will hear the lengthy case was selected today in courtroom 11.

Justice Mark Woolford told the jury the sole issue in the trial was the identity of the two heavily disguised men who had burst into the pub that night and robbed it of its weekend takings.

Both the men on trial deny they were the offenders.

The Crown case will be led by Natalie Walker, the Crown Solicitor for Manukau, and Ned Fletcher.

Tauranga lawyer Craig Tuck is acting on behalf of Hoggart, while Wellington lawyer Christopher Stevenson is representing the other defendant.

The trial in the High Court at Auckland is expected to last about 10-12 weeks.

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