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Waihi murder arrest

BELINDA FEEK AND MARYANNE TWENTYMAN
Last updated 12:48 09/01/2013
Fairfax NZ

Press Conference about the Waihi murder arrest

Robert Murray Wilkinson
VICTIM: Robert Murray Wilkinson died after being stabbed in the neck and head in Waihi Beach on New Year's Day.

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An 18-year-old Waihi man has appeared in Hamilton District Court this morning charged with the murder of Murray Wilkinson who was stabbed in the early hours of New Year's Day.

The arrest took place at 4.30pm yesterday as police, including dog handlers, converged on Waihi.

Judge David Ruth remanded the man in custody without plea to reappear in Tauranga District Court on Monday, and granted interim name suppression.

He was dressed in a blue boiler suit and appeared alert, regularly looking at the gallery and smiling at a woman - the pair exchanging thumbs up - who was in court supported by a friend.

Duty solicitor Mike Curran said the man did not seek bail and requested his counsel be Paul Mabey QC.

Earlier today, Waikato district crime manager Detective Inspector Chris Page said the Wilkinson family were told of the arrest last night.

As part of the ongoing investigation, Page said he would like to hear from anyone who stayed on Citrus Ave, Waihi Beach on New Year's eve.

People with information could contact the Operation Brad enquiry team at the Waihi Beach and Waihi police stations or dial 0800 OP BRAD (0800 672723). Alternatively information could be left anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555-111.

The announcement of the arrest came one week to the day after the Queensland-based New Zealander was stabbed in an attack at Waihi Beach, where he was staying with his wife in a caravan outside a friend's house.

He had gone outside to check a noise at 1am.

He died two days later in Waikato Hospital from his injuries.

Page said a flurry of information and photos of New Year celebrations in the area where Wilkinson was attacked contributed to the arrest.

Page thanked the Waihi and Waihi Beach communities for their help and support.

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