Fatal stabbing sparks homicide probe

Last updated 15:55 11/01/2013
Kawerau stabbing
Whakatane Beacon

People gather near the scene of a fatal stabbing in Kawerau.

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A nine-year-old boy was at the Bay of Plenty house where a man was fatally stabbed and another arrested last night.

Police have launched a homicide investigation after discovering the dead man at a Holyoake Crescent address in Kawerau about 8pm.

Three other people, including a nine-year-old boy, were found in the house and one of those - a 31-year-old man - has been charged with assault. More charges are likely to follow.

It is not clear whether the child witnessed the attack, where a 23-year-old man was fatally stabbed in the neck.

"The child was close to the scene at the time of the incident and we are speaking to him," a police spokeswoman said.

Someone in the house called an ambulance which notified police.

"Ambulance were called and attended but there was nothing they were able to do to save the man," she said. "The man died at the scene."

She would not say whether he suffered any other injuries but confirmed he was 23 and he and his attacker were known to each other.

She was not sure whether they were related or friends.

The three other people at the address - a man, woman and child - as well as the deceased, were locals.

"We have spoken with those occupants at the house and wider family members of the victim and everyone has been co-operative," the spokeswoman said in a statement.

Police were not releasing any further details about the deceased and a judge today ordered that his name be suppressed.

A 31-year-old man, who also has name suppression, was charged with assault and appeared in Whakatane District Court using crutches and wearing a hospital gown today. More charges were likely, police said.

He is due to reappear in court next Wednesday.

The home was under guard and a scene examination involving forensic scientists would take place today. An autopsy was also scheduled for today.

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