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CCTV footage shown at journalist's murder trial

Tuesday 4 Dec 2012 11:52 a.m.

 Nicho Waipuka (left) and Manuel Robinson (right)

Nicho Waipuka (left) and Manuel Robinson (right)

The jury in the Phillip Cottrell murder trial have been shown CCTV images captured the night he was killed.

Footage played at the High Court in Wellington this afternoon shows Mr Cottrell walking down Boulcott St in the central city, toward the area he was attacked. Thirty seconds later, Manuel Robinson, 18, and Nicho Waipuka, 20, are seen sprinting away.

A number of cameras recorded the sequence or parts of it, including ones mounted on a nearby Telecom building, ANZ building, a private residence and the Majestic Centre.

None of the cameras recorded the attack itself.

The Crown alleges the two men murdered Mr Cottrell, stole his credit card and tried to withdraw cash.

After the alleged attack, other cameras show them arriving restless in the lobby of an associate’s apartment building and pacing back and forth as they waited for an elevator.

It is alleged the pair stayed at the apartment until around 9:30am, before leaving for the Wellington Railway Station. Waipuka was seen going to an ANZ ATM machine and unsuccessfully attempting to withdraw cash.

Sister tells of travel plans

The sister of slain journalist Phillip Cottrell had not seen her brother for nine months before he was murdered.

Susan Hollows has given evidence at her brother’s murder trial at the High Court in Wellington this morning, telling the jury how the pair were due to holiday together on December 12 last year.

Mr Cottrell was found bloodied and bruised on Boulcott St in central Wellington on December 10.

Nicho Waipuka and Manuel Robinson have been charged with the murder of the 43-year-old Radio New Zealand journalist in what the Crown calls a “random act of deliberate violence” as he walked home after a nightshift.

Ms Hollows said she had last caught up with her brother in March and the pair had made plans to holiday together.

Cottrell had ‘old lady bones’

Mr Cottrell’s sister has shed light on the bone condition she and her brother had – osteogenesis imperfect type two – which meant their bones were weaker than normal.

“He had a mild form of the condition but had less incidents with me,” she says.

Ms Hollows told the court the condition has left her with fractured bones around 10 times, mainly during her childhood. She says Mr Cottrell had far less than her and his condition was mild.

One of Mr Cottrell’s friends, Andrew Bristol, also gave evidence about the bone condition, saying they usually referred to it as “old lady bones”.

“It didn’t get in the way of him living his life. He would be no more cautious than you or I might be,” he said.

Mr Bristol says Mr Cottrell was cautious about the condition only because an injury would stop him from travelling the world.

Jury shown CCTV footage

The jury was this morning shown CCTV footage from the night Mr Cottrell was killed.

The Crown alleges the two men attacked him, stole his credit card and tried to withdraw cash. CCTV images of the pair after they fled the scene of the alleged attack, show them arriving restless in the lobby of an associate’s apartment building and pacing back and forth as they waited for an elevator.

It is alleged the pair stayed at the apartment until around 9:30 that morning, before leaving for the Wellington Railway Station. It was there when Waipuka is seen going to an ANZ ATM machine and unsuccessfully attempting to withdraw cash.

Detective Constable Jason Abbott, who collected CCTV footage for the trial, says after the failed attempt to withdraw cash, Waipuka joined Robinson in a nearby bathroom.

The Crown says this was when the pair ditched Mr Cottrell’s credit card, which was later found there by a member of the public.

Mr Abbott says the pair left the bathroom after about two minutes and headed to a train platform to catch a train home.

Mr Cottrell’s family, friends and colleagues will give evidence later today.

The trial is set down for two weeks, during which time 68 witnesses will take the stand.

3 News

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