Murder accused keeping quiet

KEEPING QUIET: Dion Louvain Lawrence refused to speak with The Star on Tuesday. PHOTO: Facebook

The man who said police accused him of murdering his neighbour Richard Hinkley is now refusing to talk publicly.

The Star revealed last week police believe Mr Hinkley, who disappeared two years ago, could have been murdered, a property had been searched and a suspect identified.

Mr Hinkley, who was 49 when he disappeared, was last seen at Kiwibank in Edgeware on December 12, 2015.

Dion Louvain Lawrence was arrested by police in December and charged with stealing from Mr Hinkley’s home.

Lawrence told news media after The Star article was published, police had accused him of taking a laptop from Mr Hinkley’s Madras St flat next door, and pawning it after he reported him missing in February 2016.

When The Star visited Lawrence at his flat on Tuesday, he would not open the door
and said he had nothing more to say.

“I would rather not say anything,” he said.

Last week, Lawrence told news media: “They did over my flat, kicked me out for two days, dug up my garden and went through everything, took half my stuff away.”

Detective Inspector Corrie Parnell said last week calling the case a homicide investigation was premature and there were a number of persons of interest in what was still a missing person inquiry.

Mr Hinkley was 1.84m tall, and of solid build, and had a shaved head when he was last seen. He often wore a beanie or hat. He was last seen wearing dark pants, a black T-shirt with a large white pattern on the front and a blue peaked cap with a dark blue logo on the front.

There have been no sightings of Mr Hinkley reported since he went missing and police are not aware of any bank or electronic transactions in that time, a police spokeswoman said.

It is understood Mr Hinkley was an only child and lived with his parents until they separated when he was 17.

His father now lives in Australia and his mother died in 2011.

KEEPING QUIET: Dion Louvain Lawrence refused to speak with The Star on Tuesday. PHOTO: Facebook

MISSING: Police searched a property on Madras St in December looking for clues to what happened to Richard Hinkley, who has been missing since December 2016. PHOTO: Martin Hunter

Richard Hinkley – headshot

Detective Inspector Corrie Parnell – headshot