7 Dec 2015

Man charged with murder after Churton Park death

2:55 pm on 7 December 2015

A man has been charged with murder after a woman died at a house in Wellington's Churton Park last night.

Flowers left at the scene of a death in Churton Park. Police have launched a homocide inquiry.

Flowers left at the scene Photo: RNZ/Michael Cropp

The 28-year-old, who has been granted interim name suppression, appeared in the Wellington District Court and was remanded to a psychiatric hospital until his next appearance.

The judge declined media applications to video the man, saying he had health issues and filming him would be inappropriate.

He also suppressed the relationship between the man and the dead woman.

Officers were called at 7.35pm yesterday to a house in the northern Wellington suburb of Churton Park.

They found a 55-year-old woman with injuries, who died at the scene.

The woman will be formally identified today with a post-mortem conducted tomorrow.

Police said they wanted to reassure neighbours that the crime was not a random act and that no one else was being sought in connection with the death.

One neighbour, Alex, said he found out about the situation shortly after 7pm last night after his parents were flagged down as they left the street.

He said he tried to help, but it was too late to do anything.

"You don't expect this to happen in your neighbourhood," he said.

Other neighbours said they barely heard a thing until police cars arrived.

This morning, neighbours described the woman and her family as lovely, and quiet. In summer, they would give their neighbours fresh fish they had caught from their boat.

One neighbour said her household held a friendly competition with the family across the street at Christmas time every year.

Both families would decorate their houses with an array of lights that would attract people from around the neighbourhood.

Another neighbour, Shirley, said she would not be putting up any lights this year because of what had happened.

One man said he had a young daughter: "I'm trying to get her off to school, to give her as much of a sense of normality as I can."

A postmortem and scene examination will be carried out in the coming days. Police and victim support were providing support to the woman's family.

Police have launched a homocide inquiry after a woman died at Churton Park

Police have launched a homocide inquiry after a woman died at Churton Park Photo: RNZ/Michael Cropp