11 Jan 2013

Assault accused drinking with victim before death

3:34 pm on 11 January 2013

A man charged in connection with a homicide in the Eastern Bay of Plenty had been drinking with the victim before he was killed, police say.

The 31-year-old, who has name suppression, appeared at the Whakatane District Court on Friday charged with assault after a 23-year-old man was found with stab wounds to his neck at a house in Kawerau.

Police say a 111 call was made from the house on Holyoake Crescent on Thursday night, but there was nothing that ambulance officers could do to save the victim, who died at the scene.

A woman and a nine-year-old boy were at the house when officers arrived, and the boy is being talked to on Friday about what he saw.

Police say the two men knew each other and alcohol was involved in the assault. The victim's name has also been suppressed.

The accused is due to reappear in court on Wednesday. Police say he is likely to face more charges.