Suppression appeal filed in murder case

Court House-doorwayAppeal papers have been filed and name suppression will continue for the 22-year-old man accused of assaulting and murdering 14-month-old Ihaka Paora Braxton Stokes in Christchurch in July.

After a hearing in the High Court at Christchurch last month, Justice David Gendall refused to continue the suppression that had been in place since the man’s first court appearance on July 16.

He set a deadline of 5pm on Tuesday September 15, when the name suppression would lift automatically unless appeal papers had been filed.

Defence counsel for the man, Phil Shamy, confirmed at the Court House today that papers appealing against Justice Gendall’s decision had been filed ahead of the deadline.

The filing means that the suppression continues until the submissions by Mr Shamy and the Crown are heard in the Court of Appeal on September 24.

The man has entered not guilty pleas on both charges of assaulting the toddler on July 2, and murdering him the next day. The boy died after being taken to Christchurch Hospital on July 3. Police said he died of multiple blunt force injuries.

At the hearing last month, Justice Gendall ruled that bail could be granted to the man after more than a month in custody on remand. He allowed the man to live at an address outside Christchurch where he is subject to a 24-hour-a-day curfew.

He is not allowed to leave the property without the approval of the court and is not to travel to Christchurch city unless he has to appear in court or instruct his lawyer.

Apart from the Court of Appeal appearance, the case is now remanded to a case review hearing in the High Court on October 2.


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