Homicide probe launched in Lower Hutt

Police have upgraded their investigation into the death of a 52-year-old Lower Hutt man to homicide.

The man was found unconscious by a friend in a driveway on Farmer Cres, Pomara, about 10.15pm, Senior Sergeant Marc Clausen said.

Friends attempted CPR on the man, which was continued by emergency services on arrival. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

Two police cordons were this morning in place on the street, which contains several houses displaying signs of Mongrel Mob affiliation.

One was a police tent over the body, and the other at the house where the victim lived, about 200 metres away.

Neighbours said they did not hear anything but one said he understood the man fell back and hit his head.

Andrew Tia, who lives next door to where the man's body was laying, said he saw people trying to help him but did not hear anything before then.

He said there was a party further down the street last night, close to where the man lived.

He would "probably" look at moving from the neighbourhood, which he no longer felt safe in.

Another local said the man had been drinking with others last night.

The death, which was initially treated as suspicious, had been upgraded to homicide, police said. More information will be given at a media conference this afternoon.

The death comes in the same fortnight a baby's body was found dumped in a backyard in the same neighbourhood.

The body of the infant, believed to be less than a day old, was found wrapped in a towel at a Taita Drive property last Monday.

A woman in her 60s found the baby's body in her backyard as she went to hang out her washing.

The 21-year-old woman has been charged with murder and appeared in Lower Hutt District Court earlier this week.


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