One of the
men accused of murdering a Wellington journalist told his
cousin in the days after the incident that he had kicked a
man in the head, the cousin told police.
Phillip Cottrell, 43, was left unconscious with broken bones
and a shattered skull in central Wellington on December 10,
last year. He died the next day in hospital.
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.
Robinson's cousin Leon Flutey-Tuheke today told a jury in the
High Court at Wellington that his cousin was "sketching out"
looking for a wallet in the days after the attack.
Two of Cottrell's wallets were taken from him during the
The day after the attack both Robinson and Waipuka told Mr
Flutey-Tuheke they had "done someone over".
Mr Flutey-Tuheke also told police that Robinson looked
worried "because of that stuff he and Nicho done in town".
He said Robinson told him he had "kicked him in the head".
Mike Antunovic, who appears for Robinson, has 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.
Under cross examination from Mr Antunovic, Mr Flutey-Tuheke
said he "cannot be sure" that what he told police was
Upon further cross-examination he said Robinson never told
him he had kicked a man in the head.
Mr Flutey-Tuheke also said on the day before the attack when
they were all drinking together Waipuka said he wanted to go
into town and "have some rumbles".
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.