23 Sep 2012

Taita death treated as homicide

3:03 pm on 23 September 2012

Twenty five police officers are investigating the death of a 52-year-old father of two in the Lower Hutt suburb of Pomare.

Michael James Mulholland was found unconscious in the driveway of a house in Farmer Crescent just after 10pm on Thursday.

Police guarded the scene where the body was found.

Police guarded the scene where the body was found. Photo: RNZ

Attempts by a friend and paramedics to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

The death is being treated as a homicide and a post mortem was carried out on Friday and police say they are still examining the information provided by the pathologist.

Police say Mr Mulholland had facial injuries they hope the pathologist will be able to explain.

Forensic specialists finished the examination of the Farmer Crescent property where Mr Mulholland died on Sunday.

However a police examination of the property is expected to continue for another two days.

Police say Mr Mulholland's family is congregating in the area to pay their respects.

Lead investigator Detective Inspector Darrin Thomson says police are determined to find out what happened to him.

"Obviously a tragic situation to lose a child, to lose a brother, to lose a father, and that's why we're very determined as an investigation team to identify exactly the facts surrounding his death."

Detective Inspector Thomson says police want to hear from anyone who was in the Farmer Crescent area between 6pm and 11pm on Thursday.

Gang tensions on the street were triggered in 2009 when a woman and her two young children were threatened and forced to move by neighbouring Mongrel Mob members.