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$6000 sought for evidence

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    $6000 sought for evidence - 21-Jul-2008
    Convicted murderer Ashley Arnopp demanded $6000 from police in return for giving evidence at the trial of his co-accused, the High Court at Palmerston North heard yesterday.

    The trial of Andre Gilling, 18 - who is accused of the brutal murder of 39-year-old gay man Stanley Waipouri in an attack that lasted more than an hour on the night of December 22, 2006 - continued into its second day yesterday.

    Detective Jonathan Oram told the court of several attempts to have his co-accused, Arnopp, sign a statement after he was sentenced in February.

    The statement would be used as evidence in the re-trial of Gilling.

    During a three-hour interview with police on June 6 this year, Arnopp said he wanted some form of payment for his story, Detective Oram said.

    He wanted $6000 put into his bank account, he said.

    "I said to him that no money would be given to him but I would speak to the officer in charge of the case. . . I was unsure if there was any other way he could be assisted."

    Then on June 11 Arnopp was told no payment would be made and he was asked to sign his written statement - which he eventually did.

    Arnopp was due to give evidence in court today.

    The court heard from Mihikiturangi Samuels, who was working at Liquor King on the night of the murder, that Mr Waipouri came into the shop to buy alcohol with an "animated" Gilling.

    "I asked him [Mr Waipouri] who the weirdo was.

    "He just said that he was a friend."

    He kept trying to lean over the counter to shake her hand, telling her his name was "Andre from France or Andre from Paris", Miss Samuels said. "He was getting on my nerves. I thought he was either really young or I thought he might have been retarded or something."

    When the men left the store, Miss Samuels continued to keep an eye on them.

    She thought it looked as though Gilling was trying to push Mr Waipouri and that they were arguing.

    While the court listened to the recording of the 111 emergency call made on the night of Mr Waipouri's death, Gilling sat with a pencil, sketching on a folder in front of him.

    Mr Waipouri's family and friends in the public gallery were visibly distressed as the tell-tale sounds of thumping could be heard during a discussion between the operator and the caller in the flat below where his body was later found.
    Ref: - Manawatu Standard


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