Cottrell murder accused wanted manslaughter plea

One of the men accused of murdering a Wellington journalist said he would plead guilty to the manslaughter of the man if the murder charge was dropped, a jury has heard.

Manuel Robinson, 18, and Nicho Waipuka, 20, are on trial in the High Court at Wellington for Phillip Cottrell's murder.

The officer in charge of the case, John Miller, today briefly gave evidence when he was called to the stand as the Crown's final witness.

Under cross examination by Waipuka's lawyer, Paul Paino, Mr Miller said he was aware that Waipuka said he would plead guilty to manslaughter.

However, the charge was not lowered and he was charged with murder.

Following two weeks of Crown evidence, lawyers for both Waipuka and Robinson did not call any witnesses to give evidence.

Radio New Zealand journalist Phillip Cottrell was rushed to hospital after being left with broken bones and a shattered skull in an attack on a central Wellington footpath early on December 10 last year.

He died in hospital the following day.

The Crown has begun its closing argument to the jury.

Justice Forrest Miller is expected to sum up the case on Monday, before the jury is sent away to deliberate.


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