13 Dec 2012

Accused might have kicked journalist, court told

8:56 pm on 13 December 2012

A jury has heard one of the two men on trial for the murder of a Radio New Zealand journalist say in a recorded interview that the other accused might have kicked the victim.

Nicho Waipuka, 20, and Manuel Robinson, 18, are charged with the murder of Phillip Cottrell in December last year.

Mr Cottrell was on his way home just after 5.30am after finishing an overnight shift when he was attacked on Boulcott Street in central Wellington on 10 December.

He suffered severe head injuries and died the following day in hospital after being taken off life support.

On Thursday, the High Court jury watched a DVD recording of a police officer interviewing Manuel Robinson on the day he was arrested.

In the interview, Mr Robinson said he saw Nicho Waipuka punching a man who dropped to the ground.

"I just seen him swing and the guy ended up just dropping and then I seen Nicho go down into his pocket. You could tell that he was going down into his pocket the way he went down, because you wouldn't go down for any other reason, if you think about it.

"He might of ended up kicking him or something, you never know."

Mr Robinson said he was not involved in the attack and that after he saw the punch he turned around and took off.

The court also heard that Nicho Waipuka denied involvement in the attack when he was arrested.