2 May 2012

Murder-accused granted bail to attend funeral

4:27 pm on 2 May 2012

The older of two men accused of murdering a Radio New Zealand journalist is back in Rimutaka Prison after being released earlier on Wednesday to attend his grandfather's funeral in Masterton.

Nicho Waipuka, 20, has been remanded in custody since he was charged in December last year.

On Tuesday, a large group of his family attended a bail hearing at the Wellington High Court.

The Crown opposed the bail application, but Justice Joseph Williams granted bail to Mr Waipuka on compassionate grounds.

The judge set very strict conditions, including that Mr Waipuka be closely monitored by family members throughout the tangi and that he be returned to the jail by 4pm on Wednesday.

Phillip Cottrell, 43, was beaten as he walked home from work in the early hours of 10 December last year and died the following day in hospital.