Emo­tions high as mur­der ac­cused ap­pears in court

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

Emo­tions ran high in a packed Porirua court­room last Tues­day as a 26-year-old man ap­peared, charged with mur­der­ing truck driver Bruce Coker.

Coker, 49, was found ly­ing in Ros­siter St, Linden, with se­vere head in­juries, on De­cem­ber 20 and died in hos­pi­tal three days later.

A Wai­tan­girua man, who has in­terim name sup­pres­sion, has been charged with the mur­der. An ear­lier charge of as­sault was with­drawn.

Coker’s fam­ily and friends were in the court­room in large num­bers for the brief ap­pear­ance, but were re­strained in their re­ac­tions to the ac­cused’s ap­pear­ance.

Mem­bers of the Mon­grel Mob were also in court and there was an ag­gres­sive ex­change be­tween one of the ac­cused’s sup­port­ers and a po­lice of­fi­cer.

It spilled out of the court­house, but was dif­fused be­fore it be­came vi­o­lent.

Coker was de­scribed late last year by fam­ily and friends as a kind-hearted man with­out a bad bone in his body.

He had been see­ing friends in Ros­siter St dur­ing the evening and was found ly­ing on the road sev­eral houses away from the prop­erty he had been vis­it­ing.

The po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion had ini­tially been ham­pered by a re­fusal of po­ten­tial wit­nesses to re­veal ev­ery­thing they knew.

The ac­cused was re­manded in cus­tody and will ap­pear in the High Court in Wellington on Fe­bru­ary 3.

Chance Slade Rameka, 20, had ear­lier been named as a per­son of in­ter­est and ap­peared in court on un­re­lated charges, but a po­lice spokesman said he was not be­ing charged in relation to the death.

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