Matthew Backhouse

Matthew Backhouse is an APNZ news reporter based in Wellington.

Three arrested in Levin homicide

Police at the scene of a fatal stabbing north of Levin. Photo / Alecia Bailey
Police at the scene of a fatal stabbing north of Levin. Photo / Alecia Bailey

Three men have been arrested after a 27-year-old Levin man was stabbed to death at a rural Levin property last night.

Police launched a homicide investigation after Michael Les Valentine was stabbed at a property off State Highway 1, north of Levin, about 8.30pm.

Detective Senior Sergeant Marc Hercock said ambulance staff attempted to resuscitate Mr Valentine but he was declared dead at the scene.

A 31-year-old man has been charged with murder and will appear in Levin District Court on Monday.

Two other men, aged 22 and 29, have been charged with assault in relation to the incident.

The younger man appeared in court today and was due to reappear on Thursday, while the 29-year-old will make his first court appearance on Monday.

Mr Hercock said information from witnesses had led police to believe a fight had preceded the stabbing.

"We believe that prior to Mr Valentine's death there was some type of altercation involving a number of other people," he said.

"We do not believe that this was a random attack. We understand that there was disagreement in regards to some minor matters between the victim and those arrested."

Mr Hercock said police were not looking for anyone else in relation to the death.

Police were now seeking sightings of a white Mitsubishi Pajero 4WD, registration CTJ418, between 6pm to midnight yesterday.

"We believe this vehicle has been used at some point prior to, and after the fatal stabbing of Mr Valentine," Mr Hercock said.

"Even though we have made arrests, this investigation is still ongoing and we are appealing to the public for sightings of the vehicle mentioned above and for any information relevant to this investigation.

"Please come forward and contact us if you know something."

A scene examination was expected to continue over the next two days, while a post-mortem examination will be conducted tomorrow.

Police said their thoughts and condolences were with Mr Valentine's family and friends at this difficult time.

- APNZ

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