Arrest made in Wellington punk death case

TOM HUNT AND SOPHIE SPEER
Last updated 07:43 12/12/2012

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Police have arrested a man with the suspected murder of Wellington punk rocker Steve Andrews in London.

Steve Andrews, 46, the flamboyant singer in 1980s and 90s bands Vas Deferens and Flesh D-Vice, was a warm, friendly man who wouldn't hurt a fly, friends say.

He was celebrating his girlfriend's birthday in Putney, southwest London, at the weekend when he was involved in an early-morning altercation outside the Duke's Head pub.

He suffered serious head injuries and died later in hospital.

London Metropolitan Police have confirmed a 28-year-old man from Exeter had handed himself into police early this morning (NZ time) in Exeter, more than 300km away from Putney.

He had been arrested for suspected murder, though no charges were yet laid.

He was yet to be interviewed by police.

Andrews moved to London about a decade ago, where he was said to be "living the dream", hanging out with the likes of Sex Pistols singer John Lydon and The Clash guitarist Mick Jones.

He was working as a postman, and was due to return to Wellington soon for a reunion with Vas Deferens.

Friend Nick Farrance said that, although Andrews' public persona was quintessential rock 'n' roll, he was more than that. When he visited him in London recently, Andrews took him to the Tate Modern to see his favourite Picassos.

Old friend Howard Levarko described Andrews as a "diamond geezer". 

He met him in the mid-80s when they were both part of the Wellington punk scene, and said Andrews was friends with everyone.

Childhood friend Drew Aitchison said details of the attack were sketchy but Andrews was never violent. "He wouldn't hurt a fly."

Wellington identity Rufus Dayglo remembered his first meeting with Andrews in Wellington: "He approached me, and gave me a flier . . . 'You like punk eh? Come see these guys, they're the best punk band in Welly!'

"So I turn up to the gig . . . and it's him . . . on stage. Steve Andrews . . . one of a f...in' kind."

'A REAL PEACOCK'

Dragan Stojanovic, Vas Deferens: Steve had a real sense of showmanship. He was an actor as well, and he had a really good sense of humour. He was a real peacock. Clothes were his thing. He was gentle and peaceful and generous to a fault. He knew heaps of people. If we were walking down Cuba St to Manners Mall it would take us over an hour, he would always say hello to everyone.

Gareth Smith, Vas Deferens: Steve wouldn't hurt anyone. His look was all theatrical - he was Jack Sparrow before Jack Sparrow. When you think of Keith Richards and Johnny Lydon, Steve was those guys combined.

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- The Dominion Post

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