Police scour for leads in mysterious city death

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 05:00 23/11/2012

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Police hope an autopsy today will provide some answers about the sudden death of a Christchurch man who was found with serious head injuries in a driveway near his home.

Warren Noel Blackett, 44, was discovered about 6.30am on Wednesday in a Yaldhurst Rd driveway, in the suburb of Russley. He died in Christchurch Hospital yesterday afternoon.

Police were last night still asking for two youths, both male with fair hair, seen running along Yaldhurst Rd towards the city in the early hours of Wednesday - or anyone who saw them - to make contact.

Detective Senior Sergeant Tony Hill said a team of about 15 police was working on the case.

While there was no evidence of foul play "to date", a homicide inquiry could not be ruled out.

Hill said a hit-and-run was only one possible scenario.

An autopsy scheduled for this morning could help guide any decisions, Hill said.

Police were piecing together Blackett's movements leading up to when he was found unconscious on the driveway, Hill said.

On Tuesday, Blackett was at home for a part of the day; a friend had visited him but left about 2pm. About 5pm, he spoke to his family on the phone, mostly about his plans for the evening such as cooking dinner. He was thought to be at home until at least 8.30pm.

It was not clear what time he left his house or where he went.

"He was not a creature of habit," Hill said.

"We've got more questions than answers at the moment."

Blackett, who was on an invalid's benefit, had been in trouble over alcohol-related misdemeanours in the past.

However, Hill said there was no evidence alcohol was involved in this incident.

Police were still tracking down Blackett's acquaintances and Hill renewed a plea for anyone who knew him to come forward.

Hill said Blackett's family had asked for privacy.

"They [are] obviously distraught and were at his bedside for a lot of the time he was in hospital," Hill said.

Blackett was last year dubbed the "Goldilocks" burglar after he wandered into a Bishopdale apartment, removed his boots, socks, and jeans and fell asleep on a bed in an upstairs bedroom. A judge told him he was "certainly no Goldilocks" at his sentencing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 363 7400 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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