Murder trial begins after Napier man dismembered and found in chilly bin

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Campbell Paterson of Napier. SUPPLIED
Campbell Paterson of Napier. SUPPLIED

A man charged with the murder of Napier man Campbell Paterson in Far North Queensland 19 months stands trial today.

Mr Paterson's dismembered body was found in a large chilly bin about 100m from the nearest road in bushland at Edmonton, about 15km southeast of Cairns on November 19, 2014.

He had not been reported missing but police became concerned after Mr Paterson failed to appear in a Cairns court twice in October 2014.

He was brought back to Hawke's Bay for his tangi.

They focused investigations around a property in Edmonton and soon after arrested local man David Leslie Hickson, 32, and charged him with murder and interfering with a corpse.

Mr Paterson had been working in the area and returning to Napier regularly to see his family, including four children.

He was known in Napier for street art, including a mural in his home community of Maraenui, where he had taught at Maraenui Bi-Lingual School.

But in Cairns he also became known for some involvement with drugs.

Charges he was facing at the time of his death included driving under the influence of methamphetamine and serious assault on a police officer.

Police believe the death was associated with drugs, and that Mr Paterson was stabbed by Hickson.

After more than 12 months in custody, and pleading not guilty, Hickson was in December ordered to stand trial. It is scheduled to take no longer than five days.

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