13 Dec 2012

Murder accused 'had just a few seconds' with victim

6:10 am on 13 December 2012

The High Court at Wellington has heard the longest time one of the men accused of killing a Radio New Zealand journalist spent with the victim would have been less than eight seconds.

Phillip Cottrell suffered severe head injuries in an attack in a central Wellington street on 11 December last year. He died the day after the attack, after being taken off life support.

Nicho Waipuka, 20, and Manuel Robinson, 18, are on trial for his murder.

A security consultant, David Horsburgh, has given evidence about footage from a security camera on the street where Mr Cottrell was attacked.

Mr Horsburgh told the court his analysis of the footage shows it would have been impossible for Mr Robinson to have passed the camera at the time he did, if he had been where Mr Cottrell was at the time of the attack.

Mr Cottrell was on his way home just after 5.30am after finishing an overnight shift.

Mr Horsburgh says Mr Waipuka would have spent between 6 seconds and 7.78 seconds at the location where Mr Cottrell was found.

Mr Horsburgh based his analysis on the times all three men passed the camera, and a calculation of the two accuseds' running.

Accused's sister says earlier evidence wrong

In other evidence on Wednesday, Manuel Robinson's sister Terina Robinson, told the court some of the information she gave to police more than a week after the attack was not true.

She said she saw the two accused in an apartment on The Terrace after Mr Cottrell was attacked.

She said Mr Waipuka told her he had asked a person down the road for $2 and had punched the man when he said "no".

Ms Robinson said comments she made to police about Mr Waipuka saying he had kicked the man in the head were not true.

On Wednesday afternoon, jury members were taken to the site where Mr Cottrell was attacked.