By Michael Morrah, 3 News online staff and NZN
An 18-year-old charged with murder over a New Year's Day stabbing at Waihi Beach was remanded in custody following a court appearance this morning.
The man, a Waihi local, was granted interim name suppression when he appeared in Hamilton District Court, charged with the murder of 64-year-old Murray Wilkinson.
He was also wanted for breaching bail in relation to a separate incident.
Mr Wilkinson, an expatriate New Zealander living in Queensland, died in Waikato Hospital two days after he was stabbed while investigating a disturbance outside the caravan he and his wife were staying in.
The accused was arrested yesterday. After the arrest came the search of the suspect's home. Police spent the day looking for weapons.
Police also visited the family of the victim to tell them about the development in the case.
“They've been pretty stoic and trying to be positive about many things,” said Detective Inspector Chris Page. “And news today of us being able to put someone before the courts has really given them some hope that their community is there to support them and the support that they have already had will continue through until the trial.”
This morning the court heard a forensic nurse had concerns about keeping him in custody, but despite that the appointed duty solicitor did not seek bail for the accused.
The accused stood in the dock wearing a blue boiler suit. He appeared relaxed and waved to family members who were in the public gallery.
Court documents reveal he's not only facing the murder charge but is also facing two counts of assault and another charge of assault with intent to injure.
Paul Mabey QC has been assigned as his lawyer. He will reappear in the Tauranga District Court on January 14.
Det Insp Page said building the investigation to the point where an arrest could be made was reflective of the significant support received from the public.
"One of most significant things to result from this arrest so far was the opportunity to inform Mr Wilkinson's family that an arrest has been made," he said.
Police now want to hear from anyone who was staying at addresses between 1 and 40 Citrus Ave on the night of December 31.
Police said yesterday there were a number of drunk teens in the area at the time of the stabbing and they were going through hundreds of photos supplied by the public following the attack.
Det Insp Page said there were several incidents of assaults and disorder in the area on the night and several knives had been handed to police.