Arrest made over Kiwi's London death

TOM HUNT AND SOPHIE SPEER
Last updated 07:50 12/12/2012

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A man has handed himself over to police in connection with the death of a Wellington man living in London.

Police have confirmed a 28-year old man walked into a police station in Exeter. He was arrested on suspicion of murder and was being interviewed by police. No charges have been laid

The dead man, Steve Andrews, 46, was a key figure in Wellington's early punk scene but had been living in London for about a decade.

It is understood he had been out celebrating his girlfriend's birthday on Saturday night in Putney, southwest London.

London Metropolitan Police were called to a fight near the Duke's Head pub on Lower Richmond Rd at 12.30am on Sunday (1.30pm Monday NZT).

A man was taken to a south London hospital suffering serious head injuries and pronounced dead at 6pm. 

Andrews had worked as a postman since getting to London about a decade ago.

He was due to return to New Zealand for a reunion tour with his Wellington band Vas Deferens.

Old friend Howard Levarko described Andrews as a "diamond geezer".

"I can't picture a world without Steve Andrews. He was a character. He was just a legend."

He met him in the mid 1980s when they were both part of the Wellington punk scene, and said Andrews was friends with everyone.

"Everybody loved Steve. He would walk up to a complete stranger and talk to them. He was known by a hell of a lot of people.

"It's hitting us pretty bloody badly."

In the last few days, Andrews had posted photographs of himself on Facebook with British punk legend Mick Jones from The Clash.

Levarko said that was testament to the way Andrews lived his life, and his friendly nature.

"He's living the dream. He went up to these people and they seemed to warm to him."

Childhood friend Drew Aitchison said details of the attack were sketchy but Andrews was never violent himself.

"He wouldn't hurt a fly."

Friends were "gobsmacked" by news of his death.

Following news of his death, Andrews' Facebook page has become a tribute page.

Tom Larkin, from Shihad, wrote: "I'll never forget you jumping on our table at midnight espresso at 4 in the afternoon and screaming a song to me and Sarah Stewart, freaking the shit out of every uni student in the whole place - I will miss you bud. RIP x."

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- The Dominion Post

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