Accused told of kicking Cottrell in head

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 attack.

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 correct.

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 murderous intent.

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.


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