Tourist likely to face charges over death


(eTN) – A Hungarian tourist just weeks in New Zealand looks likely to face a charge of killing Onehunga salesman Ronald James Brown.

Mr Brown, 69, was attacked sometime between 9.30pm Friday and 1am Saturday, the time police arrived at his Matiere Rd home.

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The investigation into the attack is now a homicide inquiry after Mr Brown died in Auckland City Hospital on Monday night when his life support was turned off.

Residents of the suburban cul-de-sac told the Herald yesterday of hearing piercing screams and the sound of shattering glass coming from Mr Brown’s two-storey unit on Friday.

“All we heard was smashing, smashing, smashing,” one resident said. “All you could hear that night was cops walking around in glass.”

The man – who did not want to give his name – said he heard “stuff being thrown out” after it all “flared up”, about midnight.

Another resident described hearing screaming before the police arrived.

The house still bears the signs of some kind of struggle.

Front windows are smashed out, and there are rivulets of dried blood on the sills. A back window is shattered and half off its hinges.

Officers found Mr Brown lying badly beaten on the ground floor.

His alleged attacker – 29-year-old Hungarian Ferdinand Ambach – was found upstairs.

“There was a victim at the house, and a person who was obviously a suspect at the house,” said one investigator, who did not wish to be named.

It took four police to bundle the man – alleged to be Ambach – into a police van, one resident said.

Mr Brown had been drinking at 306 Bar, on Onehunga Mall, before leaving “in the company of a younger man” about 9pm, but inquiry head Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Cramer was yesterday loath to discuss a reason for the killing.

“We are not even speculating on motive at this stage.”

Ambach – who is understood to have been in New Zealand for only a few weeks – appeared in court on Monday charged with assault and intentional damage.

He returned to Auckland District Court yesterday – about the time pathologists were carrying out an autopsy on Mr Brown – and will be back tomorrow.

None of the neighbours spoken to by the Herald knew Mr Brown, though one woman recognised his car.

Mr Brown was one of four people killed in a bloody weekend.

Daryl Graydon, 24, was stabbed while walking home from a party in Auckland; Wellington man Fitzgerald Risati was stabbed after celebrating his 24th birthday; and Christopher John Hudson, 38, was allegedly murdered in Christchurch.