Victim's personal details found at accused's home

Last updated 16:50 05/12/2012
Phillip Cottrell murder accused

ACCUSED: Nicho Allan Waipuka, left, and Manuel Renera Robinson are on trial in the Wellington High Court for murdering journalist Phillip Cottrell.

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

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A personal business-type card of journalist Phil Cottrell was found under a red Stetson hat in a shed at the Lower Hutt property where a teenager accused of his murder lived.

A jury in the High Court at Wellington has been told that police had security camera footage of two suspects for the killing of Cottrell on December 10, last year.

A youth aid officer, Megan Gouverneur, thought she recognised one of the suspects at Wellington Youth Court two days later.

Manuel Renera Robinson, then 17, was still wearing the blue cap and black sweatshirt with the word "Everlast" on it, that he had been wearing when he and another man were caught on security cameras at Wellington Railway Station the day Cottrell was assaulted.

Robinson was at court with his cousin who was appearing in court that day.

He and his cousin were kept talking while police investigating Cottrell's death were informed and arrived at court.

Robinson voluntarily went with police and while he was being interviewed police searched the Avalon, Lower Hutt, house where he lived.

In a shed under a red Stetson, a printed card with Cottrell's personal details was found.

While talking to police Robinson said that Nicho had "gone too far".

Nicho Allan Waipuka, then 19, is also charged with Cottrell's murder. He and Robinson have pleaded not guilty and their trial began on Monday.

But Justice Forrie Miller has told the jury that Robinson's reported comment, that Nicho had gone too far, was not evidence against Waipuka. The judge said it was evidence relevant to Robinson, but as Waipuka was not present when the comment was made it could not be evidence against him.

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- The Dominion Post

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