Search Browse On This Day Map Quotations Timeline Research Free Datasets Remembered About Contact

Phillips stabbed through earlobe with steak knife

Fri 14 Oct 2011 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback View at NDHA

Denis Phillips 11.15AM: Gay Papakura man Denis Phillips was fatally stabbed in the neck with a steak knife, through his earlobe, according to the forensic pathologist who examined his body. Willie Ahsee, 17, is on trial at the High Court in Auckland for the murder of the 59-year-old temporary non-sworn police officer with a 'liking' for younger men, who was found dead in his Papakura home in July last year. Dr Jane Vuletic carried out the post mortem on Phillips and has told the court he was stabbed in the neck and it cut through bone, severing his vertebral artery, a major blood vessel which carries blood to and from the brain. "This is an artery of moderate size and it was completely cut in two," she said. "Any arterial bleeding is fatal unless it's treated fairly quickly. This is no exception." Dr Vuletic says after the artery is severed it could take anywhere from minutes to half an hour for a person to lose consciousness and die, depending on factors such as how active they were at the time, their blood pressure and how much alcohol they had drunk. When asked how much force it would take to cleanly cut through bone she replied "it's impossible to be precise but I would say at least a moderate degree of force". Phillips also had three other stab wounds to his upper body. Dr Vuletic said Phillips also had fragments of glass on his torso, two lacerations on his head and a number of abrasions around his face and on his body, along with possible defensive wounds on his arms. The pathologist also outlined toxicology reports which found Phillips had a blood/alcohol level of 158mg per 100ml of blood, which contextualised by noting it is twice the legal driving limit. She said there was 232mg of blood per 100ml of urine, and the variation is not typical, so she believes Phillips had a higher blood/alcohol level prior to his death and the drop is due to the body's metabolising process. Ahsee has admitted stabbing Phillips, but denies murdering him. The Crown is near to finishing its evidence. A DVD interview police carried out with the teenager after Phillips' body was found is expected to be shown to the court today.'s in-court coverage will continue throughout each day of the trial.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Friday, 14th October 2011 - 11:12am

Rights Information

This page displays a version of a article that was automatically harvested before the website closed. All of the formatting and images have been removed and some text content may not have been fully captured correctly. The article is provided here for personal research and review and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of If you have queries or concerns about this article please email us