Tuesday, 18 November 2008 - 10:26am |
National News

Charges laid over Paul Kumeroa death

1 min read

Five people have this morning been arrested and jointly charged with murder following the fatal bashing of Paul Kumeroa in Wanganui.

Mr Kumeroa, a 29-year-old man from Wanganui died of head injuries at Wanganui Hospital on 25 September, 2008 where he had been taken after being found unconscious in Cross Street around 9.50pm on 23 September. He had been walking home from a night out when it is believed he was assaulted by the occupants of a passing car.

In a pre-planned operation around 8.30 this morning 15 officers from the Taranaki, Tararua, Palmerston North and Wanganui attended three addresses in Wanganui and one address in Patea.

Three men from Wanganui aged 34, 22 and 17, and two women from Wanganui aged 22 and 19 were arrested. The 34-year-old man who was arrested in Patea will appear at Hawera District Court this afternoon. The remaining four will appear at Wanganui District Court this afternoon.

The family of Mr Kumeroa have been informed of the developments.

The officer in charge of the investigation, Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Kevin Anstis, said: "Although we have now laid charges our investigation continues and we firmly believe that there are still more people out there with information that is relevant to the investigation, particularly in the Castlecliff and Gonville areas. I would urge those people to make contact with us."

Area Commander Duncan McCleod said: "It has been a long and involved inquiry with a number of pieces to the jigsaw. Hard work and determination has brought about today's charges and I want to reassure the community of Wanganui that the police are committed to investigating each and every criminal offence until it reaches a successful conclusion."

Media enquiries should be referred to Communications Manager Kim Perks on 027 234 8256.