Phillip Cottrell The defence for the two men accused of murdering gay Wellington man Phillip Cottrell is not calling any witnesses, and the jury will retire early next week. Manuel Robinson, 18, and Nicho Waipuka, 20, are on trial at the High Court in Wellington for murdering the 43-year-old Radio New Zealand journalist. He died in hospital a day after being found on a central city footpath with broken bones and a shattered skull in an attack on a central Wellington footpath in December last year. He had been walking home from an overnight shift at work. Waipuka has admitted punching Cottrell once and taking his wallet. Robinson said he was on the other side of the street and not involved in the incident. Waipuka’s girlfriend, who is also Robinson’s cousin, told police the pair had relayed to her seeing a man who Robinson thought “looked gay” so he got smart to him. However she denied this and much of her police statements in court. In his own statement to police, shown to the jury in a video, Robinson states he had nothing to do with the murder and his co-accused was responsible for Cottrell’s death. He said Waipuka planned to attack a random member of the public. “This this guy’s pretty [staunch], Nicho, and he talked about smacking someone over for the fun of it,” he stated. Robinson says he fled when he saw Waipuka punching Cottrell. Justice Forrest Miller is expected to sum up the case on Monday, before the jury is sent away to deliberate.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Friday, 14th December 2012 - 11:50am
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