Two teenage males aged 17 and 19 have been arrested for the murder of Scottish journalist Phillip Cottrell.
Two youths have already been charged for assault. They are a 17 year old youth whose name has since been suppressed and Nicho Allan Waipuka, 19.
Neighbours in the Wellington suburb of Lower Hutt (Farmer Crescent) told how they saw armed offenders officer lead away the two men at gunpoint last night.
You can read more about the arrests in the Dominion Post newspaper’s site, their offices are just metres from where Mr Cottrell was found and their staff would’ve been leaving their night shifts at around the time Mr Cottrell was attacked.
“Everyone is worried“
News site Scoop.co.nz wrote:
“The paper reports that police logged seven calls about weekend fighting near Courtenay Place. It reports three weekend beatings in the city’s highly-promoted party zone, including a man who was punched repeatedly outside Reading Cinemas. But these victims survived.
Police are saying that Wellington streets are safe. Some people might disagree. Asked if he had concerns about inner-city safety, the dead man’s boss at Radio New Zealand said:
“Everyone is worried. This sort of thing does highlight those concerns, not only from a professional sense, but you worry about your friends, family, sons and daughters.” more here
Boulcott Street’s “Underbelly of Violent Drug Users“
Further information is leaking out about the location where Phillip Cottrell was found, The Dominion Post wrote earlier today
“…A witness to the skateboard attack says the area is frequented by an “underbelly” of violent drug users. He wants police to investigate possible links to Mr Cottrell’s killing on Saturday morning.
Mr Townshend said the park outside his house was often frequented late at night by vagrants and others who drank, fought and smoked methamphetamine from glass pipes.
“These guys are nutters. There just seems to be a real underbelly of people here.”
He had contacted police about 20 times in the past two years to report illegal activity in the park and wanted police to investigate whether the park dwellers were linked to the attack on Mr Cottrell.
“At 5.30 in the morning they’d be tanked and out of their nuts and they’d probably be running out of money. It’s such a close proximity.” more here
Farmer Crescent and the Mongrel Mob
Farmer Crescent was in the news recently when three women residents linked to a gang and their thirteen children were evicted from their homes. The women were alleged to have partners that were connected to the Mongrel Mob.
The area is beset with problems and plagued by suburban decay, from Stuff:
“In Farmer Cres, vacant homes are boarded up, unmown grass attracts rats, and water from a burst pipe pools dangerously near a children’s playground.
“I would say we’ve been forgotten,” Farmer Cres resident Metua Taura said. “It’s like living in a ghost town.”
Another local, Molly Maria Skudder, said the area was in danger of becoming “skid row”. Unmown grass outside empty homes was attracting rats. “Our spirits are slowly being eaten away.”
She had stopped her children from using a nearby playground, after a burst pipe flooded it months ago.
“The swings will entice them in there.”
Farmer Cres came to national attention last year, when Mongrel Mob members were accused of terrorising a single mother into leaving her home…” more here