Appearance by double-murder accused

September 2, 2014 | By More

High Court-panoply1Ashburton double murder accused Russell John Tully stood quietly in the dock for an appearance at the Christchurch District Court, a day after being the alleged subject of a day-long manhunt.

Forty-eight-year-old Tully was remanded by Judge Joanna Maze on charges of murdering two Ashburton women at the town’s WINZ office yesterday, and attempting to murder a third woman.

The court was busy with media and the public gallery stayed quiet during Tully’s appearance.

Tully was described as a homeless beneficiary yesterday, and the court documents today gave his address as, “No fixed abode, Ashburton”.

At the request of defence counsel Trudi Aickin, Judge Maze remanded Tully for an appearance in the High Court in Christchurch on September 23. Bail was not sought.

Judge Maze began the hearing by ruling on media applications to film or record the appearance. She said photographs had already been published and it was difficult to see any merit in the argument that there was public interest in having recent pictures.

She declined all the media applications, after giving reporters a chance to speak.

Ms Aickin said identification may well be an issue at the trial, and she opposed filming in court. She asked for further publication of images to be suppressed, but no order was made. She said that issue may be taken up in the High Court.

Judge Maze said: “The interests of a fair trial must predominate at this stage.”

Category: News

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