McLaren Falls murder accused named

Police at McLaren Falls last month. Photo: Cameron Avery.

Name suppression for the five men charged in relation to the death of a Ngāruawāhia man whose body was found at McLaren Falls last month has lapsed.

A homicide investigation was launched after the body of Mitchell Paterson, 26, was found in water below the McLaren Falls Bridge on 13 July.

The accused appeared in court today.

Simon Walker, 36, from Hamilton is charged with the murder and kidnapping of Mr Paterson.

He was arrested in Paeroa on 20 July.

Three people from Hamilton, Leon Wilson, 49, Grant Wickens, 33, and Christopher Smith, 34, were charged with manslaughter.

James Green, 27, from Western Bay of Plenty, was charged with being an accessory after the fact.

All five pleaded not guilty in the High Court in Hamilton and will go on trial next year starting on 1 July and set down for two weeks.

Justice Katz remanded the men in custody until their next court appearance, a case review hearing in October.

-RNZ


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