News State Western Australia News WA man in court over NYE murder

WA man in court over NYE murder

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A 23-year-old man appeared briefly in court charged with the murder of a young man at a New Year’s Eve beach party north of Perth.

James Dorloff, 20, died after being attacked, possibly with a knife or machete, on the 400-metre-long Wedge Island, shortly before 1.30am (WST) on Wednesday.

Joseph Robert Houston has been charged with his murder and with intent to do grievous bodily harm unlawfully wounding another.

He appeared briefly in the Perth Magistrates Court on Thursday and was remanded in custody on a seven-day hospital order for a mental health assessment.

Houston will next appear in court on January 9.

Outside court, his father offered his condolences to the Dorloff family.

Johnny Cady, who was with Mr Dorloff at the party, posted a photograph of his friend on Facebook with the caption: “Thank you for riding shotgun through this car wreck that is my life.”

Two other people, both aged 25, were injured – a man was flown by rescue helicopter to Royal Perth Hospital and a woman was taken by ambulance to Joondalup Health Campus.

The Wedge Island Protection Association (WIPA) issued a statement saying anti-social behaviour in the area had increased since the opening of Indian Ocean Drive three years ago due to ease of access by two-wheel drive road vehicles, social media and lack of sufficient resources to control anti-social behaviour.

WIPA said the incident happened outside the settlement and did not involve shack occupants.

The group said it would continue to offer input to local authorities to better manage the risks associated with gatherings near the Wedge Island area and anti-social behaviour.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.