Name ban stays in Waihi Beach murder case

By Sandra Conchie

The identity of the man charged with the murder of an ex-pat Kiwi holidaying at Waihi Beach on New Year's Day continues to remain a secret.

Robert Murray Wilkinson, 64, was stabbed in the neck and head at a relative's Waihi Beach Rd property after he went to investigate a disturbance outside the caravan where he and his wife were staying around 1am on January 1.

Mr Wilkinson, who had been holidaying from Queensland, died at Waikato Hospital on January 3 surrounded by his family.

The 18-year-old accused of his murder made a brief court appearance in Tauranga District Court yesterday watched over by Mr Wilkinson's widow Luise and son Dan seated in the public gallery.

His lawyer Paul Mabey, QC, successfully argued before Judge Robert Wolff for name suppression to continue citing concerns that publication was likely to compromise his client's right to a fair trial.

Crown prosecutor Hayley Sheridan said the Crown supported Mr Mabey's application for the same reason.

After hearing further submissions, which cannot be made public for legal reasons, Judge Wolff said he agreed it was appropriate that the suppression order remains in place until further order of the court.

Mr Mabey also told Judge Wolff that his client wanted to seek bail.

The defendant who was arrested last Tuesday and first appeared in Hamilton District Court on January 9, is due back in Tauranga District Court at 9.15am tomorrow for a bail hearing.

Police have not ruled out further arrests and say they still have plenty of work to do in the investigation.

Anyone with more information is asked to contact Waihi Beach or Waihi police stations or call the inquiry crimeline 0800 OP BRAD (0800 672 723).

- Bay of Plenty Times

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