12 Jan 2009

Kaitangata couple named

4:40 pm on 12 January 2009

The Kaitangata couple jailed over the death of their teenage flatmate Michael Hutchings can now be named.

The 18-year-old's stabbed body was found in the Clutha River a year ago, wrapped in a mattress cover and weighed down with steel bars.

Wayne Patterson, 38, is serving a minimum of 13 years' jail for Mr Hutchings murder, while Nichole Field, 30, will soon be released from prison after being sentenced to two years for being an accessory after the fact.

The pair had name suppression because they were also jointly accused of raping a 15-year-old girl less than two weeks before Mr Hutchings' murder.

But those charges were dropped in Dunedin District Court on Monday after the complainant decided against giving evidence at trial.

A separate rape charge against Patterson was withdrawn last year when the 16-year-old complainant also decided against testifying at trial.