Assault charge over Dunedin death

THE CRAFT BAR: A man was found dead in the toilets of this bar in the Octagon, Dunedin.
THE CRAFT BAR: A man was found dead in the toilets of this bar in the Octagon, Dunedin.

A man has appeared in court charged with assault in relation to a death in a Dunedin bar.

Demolition worker Stephen Anthony Fernyhough, 25, appeared in the Dunedin District Court today and was remanded in custody without plea, on a charge of assaulting 35-year-old Ryan John Court.

He also faces a charge of intentional damage.

Court died after an alleged assault in Dunedin's Craft Bar yesterday.

Dunedin relieving area commander Inspector Jason Guthrie said a scene examination had been completed at the Octagon bar, but inquiries into Court's death were ongoing.

Police still wanted to hear from anyone who was in the Craft Bar about 1am to 2am yesterday and saw a man leaving the toilet area without his shirt on.

Guthrie said no further comment would be made on the case as it was now before the courts.

However, police earlier said their inquiries were focused on three men who left the bar after the alleged assault.

Court had gone to the Craft Bar with other people, but had not interacted with the three men before he was fatally injured.

He was found injured and unconscious in the toilet area about 1.45am. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful and he died at the scene.

About 60 people had been in the bar owned by Barry Ellis at the time of the incident and a weapon was not believed to be involved in the assault. 

The three men were thought to have then left the Craft Bar and walked through the Octagon to the Isis bar in Princes St, where they were involved in another altercation.

One of the three men, in his 30s or 40s, had a Mohawk hairstyle and was with another man about the same age who had a shaved head. They were dressed in dark casual clothing and wearing jeans.

A third man, who was in his 20s, had been seen in the Craft bar about 1.40am without his shirt on.

The Press