Police under fire after second Kapiti killing

SHANE COWLISHAW, KAY BLUNDELL AND PAUL EASTON
Last updated 05:00 17/09/2012
Sean Strongman-Lintern
STABBING VICTIM: Sean Strongman-Lintern was about to move to Australia and would not have been looking for trouble, friend Selah Parris said.

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Efforts to beef up police presence in a "violent black spot" where two young Kapiti men have been killed have not gone far enough, residents say.

Sean Strongman-Lintern, 20, was found dead in the Kapiti Lights car park, outside the Kapiti Junction bar in Paraparaumu about 12.40am on Saturday.

It is understood he suffered a single stab wound to the heart.

He was a promising rugby league player, who was planning to move to Australia, and died five weeks after friend and fellow Kapiti Bears Rugby League Club player Izak Millanta, 17, was fatally beaten in the same area.

Mr Millanta was allegedly chased by two people and killed about 300 metres from where Mr Strongman-Lintern was found.

A group of tearful and angry friends gathered near the Kapiti Junction bar yesterday. Selah Parris said there had been several fights on Saturday night and police had already arrested people before his friend was attacked.

He claimed a group of five men from Porirua had jumped Mr Strongman-Lintern while he walked alone from the nearby Retro bar to the Kapiti Junction.

Mr Strongman-Lintern was about to move to Australia and would not have wanted to start any fight, he said. "He'd make you laugh, make you cry, he was a good guy."

Kapiti-Mana area commander Inspector John Price said police were aware of escalating violence around the Kapiti Junction and Retro bars.

"But a lot of the problem relates to a culture of behaviour, and unfortunately that is related to violence. When you carry a knife, abuse alcohol and use violence, unfortunately it's a disaster waiting to happen."

Mr Price defended patrols on the night Mr Strongman-Lintern died and said they focused on the known hot spot.

Two young men were arrested for disorder shortly before Mr Strongman-Lintern was attacked.

Police were then called to a robbery. When they returned, they found him on the ground.

"Policing isn't the answer, it's a part of the answer," Mr Price said. "The answer is actually about dealing with the abuse of alcohol and the choice of the use of violence by these young men. If they made the right choices, we wouldn't have these problems."

Yesterday Mr Strongman-Lintern's friends carried his body on to Whakarongotai Marae in Waikanae, where family were gathered. Family friend Sarah Lee said Mr Strongman-Lintern's mother, Nichole Craig, and sister Aria wanted to thank everyone for their love and support.

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Kapiti district councillor K Gurunathan said the second violent death was clear vindication of the view among parents, that the area was spiralling into an increasingly unsafe place.

"Yet again, the police have been put in a very embarrassing situation where a violent black spot has been allowed to evolve just 50 metres from the district's central police station.

"Without doubt the existence of two pubs, one with a late licence till 3am, has acted as a magnet for this culture of alcohol-fuelled violence."

A man, 22, will appear in court today charged with murder.

- The Dominion Post

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