Five-day suppression order for murder accused

Court House-general2Interim suppression for five days has been granted to the 22-year-old man charged with the murder of 14-month-old Ihaka Paora Braxton Stokes.

The suppression will lift at 10am on Tuesday unless there is an application to the High Court to continue it.

The order was initially granted for just 24 hours to allow the man to tell his family about his arrest, but was extended when defence counsel Phil Shamy asked for time to explore medical issues relating to a family member.

The man was initially remanded in custody, for an appearance in the High Court on July 31, but a bail application was heard by another judge later in the day. Bail was then refused by Judge Stephen O’Driscoll after the hearing of submissions by Mr Shamy and by Mark Zarifeh for the Crown.

Suppressions apply to the reporting of details of bail applications.

Mr Shamy said he wished to apply for bail for the man at the first appearance before Judge David Saunders in the Christchurch District Court but the judge said there would be no time to hear it in the busy list court. The police oppose bail being granted.

The man, of Redwood, faces charges of assaulting the child on July 2 and murdering him on July 3.

Ihaka was taken to Christchurch Hospital with multiple blunt force fractures and other non-accidental injuries on July 3 and died in hospital soon afterwards, the police have said.

The man was arrested 13 days into the police investigation that followed. Forty-two people were interviewed during the inquiry.

Ihaka was buried after an emotional funeral service on Friday.

Media applications for in-court photography were refused.




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