Pair accused over Dunedin death named

A scene guard outside a Lock St home, believed to be the location of a violent crime. Photos:...
A scene guard outside a Lock St home, believed to be the location of a violent crime. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
The man and woman arrested in Rotorua in relation to a death in Dunedin on Monday have been remanded into custody without plea after court appearances today.

Aleisha Cherie Dawson (30) and John Kenneth Collins (37) appeared separately before Judge Marie McKenzie in the Rotorua District Court this afternoon.


Collins, who is facing one murder charge and one charge of unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, appeared in board shorts and a T-shirt.

His lawyer Harry Edwards made no applications for name suppression or for bail.

Collins was remanded in custody without plea until his next appearance on March 5 in the High Court at Dunedin.

Dawson is facing charges of accessory to murder after the fact, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle and two charges of attempting to use bank cards to obtain pecuniary advantage.

Her duty lawyer Tim Braithwaite applied for bail but this was opposed by police and declined by the judge.

The pair was arrested in Rotorua yesterday afternoon.

The arrests are linked to the discovery of a bloody crime scene in Lock St in the Dunedin suburb of St Clair where police and forensic scientists have worked since Sunday.

This morning during a press conference at Dunedin Central Police Station Inspector Shona Low said they were not looking for anyone else in respect of the incident.

"We have received some information regarding this matter from the public and we thank them for their assistance," Insp Low said.

"We are still seeking further information in regard to the dark blue 1995 Toyota people mover that travelled from Dunedin to Picton in the early hours of the morning of Tuesday 5 February."

Police said in a statement that a post-mortem was taking place today and formal identification of the man would be completed later this week.

Insp Low said formal identification would take longer than usual because the body was in an "advanced state of decomposition".

Once it was complete the victim's name would be released.

She revealed the body had been found on Steep Hill Rd, which runs off State Highway 1 north of Waitati.

Police had previously only said a body was found in a "rural location north of Dunedin".

The deceased man was known to the accused, but did not live at the Lock St address.

- Additonal reporting by ODT