The man who died in a Dunedin bar is remembered as a good
person who ''did not have a bad bone in his body''.
Ryan John Court (35) was found unconscious in the toilet area
of Craft Bar, in the Octagon, and was unable to be revived by
Yesterday, Dunedin demolition worker Stephen Anthony
Fernyhough (25) appeared in the Dunedin District Court, on a
charge of assaulting Mr Court and an unrelated charge of
intentionally damaging a window, both on April 27.
He was remanded in custody until next week.
Police confirmed they were seeking no other assailants in
connection with the assault.
The Court family, whose other son died in Blenheim in 2009,
aged 25, requested privacy yesterday, Keep It Clean owner
Gerald Cayford had employed Mr Court, who had previously
worked at Macraes, as a rendering plant operator for the last
''He was a good man.''
''We are going through a bit of hell at the plant at the
moment. His work buddies and everyone ... it is a real
''It is hard to accept ... It is terrible.''
He had known Mr Court for many years and he was a ''great
racing man, and his father is a great racing man''.
Mr Court's father, Kevin, was a trainer in the Dunedin
harness racing community.
Ryan Court's death was acknowledged by his friend, Westwood
Beach trainer/driver Jonny Cox, who wore a black armband when
he drove Jaccka Justy to a win at Rangiora on Sunday.
Mr Cox said he had learned of his friend's death the morning
of the race: ''It is just a tragedy''.
''I heard the news and felt sick all day. I was nervous and
just wanted to drive a winner for him and everything panned
out, so pretty glad I did, and the boys watching at the club
were pretty happy as well.''
Mr Cox said Mr Court had a great sense of humour, ''was
always good to have around, and wouldn't have a bad bone in
Asked to comment on the safety of the inner city following
two serious assaults on Sunday, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull told
the Otago Daily Times: ''I certainly, from time to
time, don't feel comfortable''.
''But I am rarely in the Octagon very late.''
While there might be a perception that the city was a
dangerous place to be, he agreed with police that Dunedin was
statistically one of the safest cities in New Zealand.
Both incidents occurred in an area monitored by CCTV, with
footage used in both police investigations.
''If most of the trouble happens where the CCTV cameras are
operating, you can conclude two things; it is doing its job
and the offenders are pretty stupid.''
Inspector Jason Guthrie, relieving area commander Dunedin
Clutha Waitaki, said police regularly patrolled the inner
Police had completed their scene examination and the
Asked whether Mr Court was choked, Insp Guthrie replied:
''The specific details of this incident form part of our
Police also wanted to hear from people who were in Craft Bar
on Sunday between 1am and 2am, and saw a man leaving the
toilet area without his shirt on.
Anyone with information was urged to contact Dunedin police
on 03 471-4800.
Ellis Hospitality Group managing director Barry Ellis issued
a statement yesterday on behalf of owners, management and
staff of Craft Bar.
''We wish to convey our condolences and thoughts to the
families involved in the incident.''
The bar would be closed until tomorrow and a blessing was
expected to take place today.