Boxing Coach Murder Trial Unveils String of Violent Assaults and Infidelity


In the weeks leading up to the alleged murder of his boxing coach, Sean Hayde reportedly assaulted and strangled his former partner, in an act of provocation laden with details of his extra-marital affair, as disclosed to a jury.

Hayde, along with Gregory Hart, faces charges in the High Court of Auckland for the murder of Wiremu Arapo and a subsequent attempt to obliterate evidence by burning Arapo’s residence in Cockle Bay. Hayde is additionally charged with threatening to kill, strangling and assaulting his former partner. The accusations were made during her testimony on the second day of the trial.

Hayde and Hart, acquainted since adolescence, each deny involvement, instead blaming the other for the deadly assault on Arapo, which occurred on October 20, 2020.

Arapo, described as a well-respected, athletic ex-soldier and personal trainer, had a fiancé and a promising future.

The prosecution maintains that both Hayde and Hart were complicit in the murder. Prosecutor Ned Fletcher argued that deteriorating relationships and unfaithfulness led to a spiral of violence, commencing with Hayde’s alleged attack on his ex-partner.

Arapo served as Hayde’s boxing mentor. Hayde, through Arapo, initiated an affair with a woman, causing dissatisfaction once Arapo learned of Hayde’s alleged attack on his ex-partner. Although initially content to play matchmaker, Arapo grew increasingly uncomfortable with Hayde’s developing affair. Hayde, on the other hand, resented Arapo’s continuing closeness with his new companion.

Hart, described by Fletcher as a lazy, sporadically remunerative tenant, bought alcohol and cigarettes the day before the alleged murder instead of paying the electricity bill. The mounting tensions culminated in a deadly visit to Arapo’s residence where he was brutally beaten to death, charged Fletcher.

Hayde and Hart allegedly set fire to Arapo’s property in an effort to cover their tracks, capitalizing on a popular myth that cannabis ‘spotting’ on a gas stove could also result in a fire. Hayde’s former partner, the victim of an alleged assault and strangulation, testified on the second day of the trial.

She disclosed that suspicions began when Hayde admitted to his extramarital affair. Far from remorse, Hayde gloated about the affair to his former partner, leading to humiliation. After the disclosure, Hayde suggested a break-up party. She alleges Hayde strangled, assaulted, and threatened to kill her over the ensuing two-day period before his arrest, charge and bail for domestic violence allegations. Later, Hayde was implicated in Arapo’s murder.

Her emotional police interviews include chilling details of the assault, where Hayde, after pouring hot sauce over her head, sang she was worthless, and broke her phone as a means of harassment. She also described an incident in which she was strangled by Hayde to a point where she passed out, as both men stood over her. The trial remains ongoing.


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