Cottrell murder accused flee within seconds

Last updated 05:00 05/12/2012
CCTV footage aptures murder suspects Manuel Robinson, left, and Nicho Waipuka
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IN THE FRAME: A security camera showing the arrival of an early shift worker also captures murder suspects Manuel Robinson, left, and Nicho Waipuka leaving the street.

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

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Less than half a minute separated the last glimpse on security cameras of journalist Phil Cottrell and the first glimpse of one of his alleged attackers running away.

In the High Court in Wellington yesterday, a police officer said she did not know the distance from the camera view to the spot where Mr Cottrell was found, or how long it would take to walk or run between the two points.

Detective Anna-lise Ferguson said the known time began when Mr Cottrell walked past the security camera closest to the place where he was found critically injured.

The same camera showed Manuel Renera Robinson running away 28 seconds later and Nicho Allan Waipuka 36 seconds after Mr Cottrell was seen, both on the other side of the road.

Robinson, 18, and Waipuka, 20, have pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Cottrell on December 10 last year.

Closed-circuit television cameras recorded their movements at several points in the central city before and after Mr Cottrell was attacked, while walking home about 5.30am after a night shift at Radio New Zealand.

However, no camera captured the moment when he was injured in Boulcott St.

Waipuka admits punching Mr Cottrell once and taking his wallet. Robinson says he was on the other side of the street and not involved in the incident.

The jury has heard it is likely Mr Cottrell's wallet could have contained $80 that a friend had repaid just minutes before.

The jury was also told yesterday that a worker arriving at the Dominion Post building in Boulcott St about 5.35am heard a young man in the street raise his voice to him and say something like, "What the .... are you looking at?"

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- The Dominion Post

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