2 Feb 2024

Man, 54, charged with David Bridgwater's murder

3:35 pm on 2 February 2024
David Bridgwater

Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

A 54-year-old man has been arrested and charged with the murder of father-of-two David Bridgwater.

The arrest was made at a semi-rural property near Timaru on Friday, Detective Senior Sergeant Colin Baillie said.

"This is a significant development in the investigation and our thoughts are with Mr Bridgwater's family - his mother, brother and two young children."

Bridgwater, 38, was found dead on Carisbrooke Street, in the Christchurch suburb of Aranui on 4 January.

Earlier this week, police were searching Avon River for items of interest, including a firearm.

Police also revealed Bridgwater died as a result of gunshot wounds.

"The National Police Dive Squad and Specialist Search Group have concluded their search of sections of the Avon River and nearby areas of interest and are assessing the results."

A man appeared today in Christchurch District Court charged with the murder of Bridgwater.

Judge Murray Hunt granted him name suppression and he has been remanded in custody until his next court appearance.

"As this matter is now before the court police are limited in making further comment."

Last week, a 51-year-old woman was arrested and charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder.

According to court documents, she was charged with "actively suppressing evidence by preventing access to CCTV data".

She was granted name suppression and remanded in custody.

Her next court appearance was scheduled for February.

Friends and family Bridgwater said they would hold a cricket match in his honour and to raise money for his two boys later this month.

Paul Jarman said the cricket match provided an opportunity to remember Bridgwater and do right by him and his family.

The David Bridgwater Memorial Shield match would now be held annually, Jarman said.

This year's match would also help pay for the cost of Bridgwater's gravestone, but in years to come all money would go to the boys, Jarman said.

"David was one hell of a guy and would've done this for any one, even if he didn't know the person, because that's the sort of guy he was. He was a hard working man, a family man and a hell of a person."

David Bridgwater's brother, Jason, spoke outside the courtroom and said the family would like to thank the police.

He said the family was battling while they came to terms with the death.

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