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Family members weep as 23-year-old faces charge of murder

Report from RNZ
The young man accused of murder after a deadly assault in Taihape at the weekend has been named as Te Ao Hakopa.

Mr Hakopa, 23, appeared at the Whanganui District Court this afternoon, facing charges of murder, grievous bodily harm, and intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The charges follow a police investigation into the death on Saturday of 43-year-old Kerrin Payne following an assault on Thrush Street.

Family members wept from the public gallery and cried out to Mr Hakopa when he appeared before Judge Philip Crayton, wearing a black t-shirt and blue jeans.

The accused will reappear at Whanganui High Court early next month.

News from NZ Police – July 14
A 23-year-old man has been charged with murder in Taihape, and is due to appear in Whanganui District Court tomorrow. The man who died following an assault on Thrush Street, Taihape, yesterday morning was 43-year-old Kerrin Payne, known as Ted, of Taihape.

While enquiries into Mr Payne’s death are ongoing, Police are not seeking anyone else in relation to the matter.

Anyone who has information about the circumstances surrounding Mr Payne’s death or those involved is urged to get in touch with Police on 105.

You can also give information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.