journalist was seen leaving his work smiling and happy before
he was killed just moments later on his walk home, a court
has been told.
Phil Cottrell was left unconscious with broken bones and a
shattered skull in central Wellington last year.
The 43-year-old who suffered from a brittle bone disease, was
found by a taxi driver on Boulcott Street early on December
He died from his injuries in hospital the next day.
Nicho Waipuka, 20, and Manuel Robinson, 18, are on trial for
his murder in the High Court at Wellington.
The Crown says they attacked Mr Cottrell on Boulcott St as he
walked home from his overnight shift as a bulletins editor at
Radio New Zealand.
A co-worker, Colette Jansen, today described to the jury
seeing Mr Cottrell as she was arriving at work about 5.30am
as he was leaving.
They greeted each other by the elevators.
"He was really cherry, really happy. He had a big smile on
his face, he had a twinkle in his eye," she said.
Also in court today, details were given of closed circuit
television footage showing Robinson moments before Mr
Cottrell was attacked.
Detective Constable Anna-lise Ferguson, who studied camera
footage, said CCTV cameras fixed to the Telecom building on
Boulcott Street captured Mr Cottrell's image at 5.36.02am.
Twenty-eight seconds later, Robinson was seen on the same
camera on the other side of the road and about eight seconds
after that, Waipuka followed him.
An associate of the accused, Anthony Perry told the jury he
had dropped the pair at the James Cook Hotel very early on
the day of December 10 - about 1am - so they could visit a
He arranged to pick them up later, but when he returned,
there was no sign of the accused.
Mr Perry said he waited for about an hour and a half and
texted them about 20 times, but they never turned up.
Mike Antunovic, who appears for Robinson, said his client had
nothing to do with the attack on Mr Cottrell, and he was on
the other side of the road at the time.
Mr Paino, who represents Waipuka, said while his client
admits to punching Mr Cottrell once in the jaw, he had no
Nearly 70 witnesses will be called during the trial, which is
set down for two weeks before Justice Forrest Miller and a
jury of seven women and five men.