Jamie Morton

Jamie Morton is science reporter at the NZ Herald.

Teen arrested in Waihi murder case

The Scene of the stabbing early on New Years day in Waihi (Insert: Robert Wilkinson). Photos / Christine Cornege/Supplied
The Scene of the stabbing early on New Years day in Waihi (Insert: Robert Wilkinson). Photos / Christine Cornege/Supplied

A teenager has been charged with the murder of a holidaymaker at Waihi early on New Year's Day.

The arrest of the Waihi man, 18, was announced at a press conference this morning, eight days after Robert Wilkinson, known as Murray, was stabbed outside a caravan parked in the driveway of a Waihi Beach home and later died.

The man will appear in Hamilton District Court later this morning.

Mr Wilkinson and wife Luise had been staying at a friend's property and Mr Wilkinson, an ex-pat New Zealander who was living in Queensland, was stabbed in the head and the neck while investigating a noise outside.

The 64-year-old was taken to Waikato Hospital's and died last Thursday.

The investigation involved about 30 police staff from across the Waikato and Central and Upper North Island, who received a flood of holiday images and statements from the public. Several knives were also collected.

Detective Inspector Chris Page said today there was still much work to do on the investigation and police were still to canvass an area of Waihi Beach.

The arrest comes nearly a week after Mr Wilkinson's widow, son Dan and daughter Cory made an emotional appeal for information.

Dan Wilkinson said he owed it to his father to "stop this happening to another family, so no one else has to have their life ruined like us".

"My children and my sister's children have been robbed of their grandfather's love and Lu has lost the love of her life, due to senseless, brutal violence."

The accused man was arrested at a Union St address in Waihi about 4.30pm yesterday, Mr Page said.

Police urged the public to continue to contact police with any information or images they may have from in or around the scene.

"One particular way the public can still help the investigation is that if anyone who was staying at addresses between 01-40 Citrus Ave, Waihi Beach on the night of 31 December-01 January could contact police."

The Operation Brad enquiry team could be found at Waihi Beach and Waihi police stations or contacted via the enquiry crimeline; 0800 OP BRAD (0800 672723).

Information could also be left anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

- NZ Herald

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