Manslaughter victim Phillip Cottrell A 20-year-old man has been jailed for 12 years and 10 months for killing gay Wellington journalist Phillip Cottrell. Nicho Allan Waipuka, admitted punching Cottrell, 40, in December 2011, causing him to fall and hit his head on a concrete path. Between Waipuka's punching and the impact with the concrete Cottrell's skull was broken into 20 pieces. His arm was broken in two places and he suffered multiple injuries to his face and neck. Waipuka was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter by a jury at the High Court at Wellington in December. He has today been given a minimum non-parole period of eight years and a half years. Waipuka’s co-accused Manuel Robinson, 18, was cleared of all charges. Waipuka's girlfriend Sylvanna Robinson-Stepien, who is also Robinson's cousin, told the police investigating the case that Waipuka said he had chosen to goad and assault Cottrell because he thought the victim looked gay. However, in court she denied making this statement, accusing the police of lying about it. “It's the most rubbish shit I've heard in my life,” she told the court, while also accusing the police of corruption. During the trial each of the defendants tried to shift the blame onto the other but the jury finally accepted that Robinson had not attacked Cottrell and had walked away during the deadly assault.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Friday, 15th February 2013 - 11:08am
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