Phillip Cottrell Police may lodge an appeal of the verdicts in the trial into the killing of gay Wellington man Phillip Cottrell, because they say witnesses changed their evidence. The jury found Nicho Allan Waipuka, 20, not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of Cottrell, while Manuel Renera Robinson, 18, was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter. The Crown had alleged the two men assaulted Cottrell as he walked home from work in the early hours of December 10, last year. There was evidence, later disputed by a witness, that he had been attacked after the pair abused him because he "looked gay". Police say the case was difficult, and a sheer disappointment as a number of key witnesses withdrew from their earlier statements. "We had to go and arrest five or six witness who did not want to come to court and there was a lot of changing of the evidence of those witnesses, so it did make it quite complex," Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Millar has told One News. Cottrell’s sister Sue Hollows, said after the trial her brother had been taken "in the most tragic of circumstances in an unnecessary and unprovoked attack". "Nothing would have brought Phillip back. However, we are extremely disappointed with the outcome."
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Wednesday, 19th December 2012 - 12:13pm
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