21 Oct 2009

Murder accused excused from court appearance

3:08 pm on 21 October 2009

A Wanganui man who was at the centre of a manhunt in southern Hawke's Bay, was excused from appearing in the Palmerston North District Court on Wednesday on 10 charges.

David John Bourke, 46, eluded armed police on farmland near Norsewood for more than two days, before being found in the toilet of the Norsewood Golf Club.

He earlier abandoned his crashed car in which the police found the body of an older brother Timothy Bourke, 49.

Initially three charges were laid against Mr Bourke, but police on Tuesday indicated they would lay a further seven, including one of murder and another of attempted murder.

John Bourke was due to appear in court on Wednesday, but was excused as he is still in Porirua Hospital.

His next court appearance is on 4 November in Wellington.