Cottrell murder-accused image still suppressed

23:31, Jan 12 2012
Phillip Cottrell
MURDERED: Phillip Cottrell, the Radio NZ journalist who died after being beaten in Wellington's Boulcott St.

Suppression of images of a man arrested in connection with the death of a Wellington journalist has been continued.

Nicho Waipuka, 19, was arrested after Radio New Zealand journalist Phillip Cottrell, 43, was found beaten in Boulcott St in the early hours of December 10. He had been walking home from work.

Mr Cottrell was discovered unconscious by a taxi driver and died in Wellington Hospital the next day from severe brain injuries. His wallet, thought to contain $80, was missing.

Wellington District Court judge Susan Thomas continued suppression on images of Waipuka, saying the police investigation was at an early stage and identification could still be an issue.

He was remanded in custody and it was indicated he would apply for electronic bail - home detention with electronic monitoring - at his next appearance.

Waipuka appeared calm and subdued in court, dressed in a white T-shirt, and smiled at supporters in the public gallery. After being stood down, a supporter called "Love you, babe".

Waipuka's lawyer Rob Stevens had opposed applications to take pictures of Waipuka in court and was supported by police who confirmed there could be an identity issue.

A second teenager, Manuel Penera Robinson, 17, has also been charged with murder over Mr Cottrell's death. He has been remanded on bail.