21 Nov 2009

Man in court after Queenstown death

11:14 am on 21 November 2009

A 34-year-old man has appeared in Queenstown District Court charged with assault after the death of a man following an altercation in the town on Thursday night.

He was granted interim name suppression and remanded in custody to reappear in Invercargill District Court on 27 November.

The man, dressed in blue police overalls, was expressionless as he stood in the dock.

Justices of the Peace Jane Hughes and Vicky Buckham declined a request from his solicitor for bail.

Police launched a homicide investigation after a 47-year-old man was found lying unconscious near a taxi stand in Camp St about 11.30pm on Thursday.

In spite of attempts by police, members of the public and ambulance staff he could not be resuscitated and died at the scene.

Police have named him as Mark James Smith, from Queenstown. Inspector Mike Cook says he leaves a wife, and two children.

A section of Camp St, from Ballarat St to Church St, in the central business district remained closed on Friday for the investigation. Several businesses were unable to open.

Inspector Cook says police would like to hear from anyone who was drinking at Morrisons Bar on Thursday night.