8 Oct 2014

Teen accused of Whangarei murder

5:13 pm on 8 October 2014

A 16-year-old accused of killing a Whangarei man at the weekend has made his first appearance in court today.

The police cordon at Second Avenue, where a man was found dead.

The police cordon at Second Avenue, where a man was found dead. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

The teen was arrested this morning and appeared at the Whangarei Youth Court in the afternoon charged with the murder of Michael Griffin.

The father-of-three, who was 56, was found unconscious outside his garage in Second Avenue on Sunday morning and later died of head injuries.

The accused's name is suppressed and he was remanded in custody to appear in the High Court in a fortnight.

In the dock, he returned gestures of affection from family members, who were the only public allowed into the closed court.

A large number of young people who said they were his friends milled around outside and some abused reporters who attended today's brief hearing.

Outside court, Detective Inspector Kevin Burke said Mr Griffin was a sickness beneficiary who lived alone, and police had found no one who had a grudge against him.

Mr Griffin was severely beaten about his head and face, possibly with a hammer or block of wood, Mr Burke said.