Custody remand for Avonhead murder accused

Name suppression was granted to an 18-year-old woman charged with the murder of Alicia Nathan at an unsual closed-court sitting in Christchurch.

The woman, described as a trainer, appeared before Judge Gary MacAskill in a Christchurch District Courtroom that had been closed to the public because of security concerns.

Judge MacAskill said the public interest was served by the large media presence, who were all allowed to remain in the courtroom to report the proceedings.

The woman was remanded in custody to August 25, when she will appear in the High Court for a pre-trial call-over.

She entered no plea to the charge of murdering Alicia Nathan, a mother of a three-year-old. Her family alleges Nathan was stabbed at a party in a house in Avonhead Road on Saturday night.

Defence counsel Trudi Aickin asked for the remand and asked for the interim name suppression order because of safety concerns. Judge MacAskill granted an interim order but said it would have to be re-applied for and re-argued at the woman’s next High Court session.

No bail application was made.

There was a heavy presence of police and Court Security staff in the main list court for the brief appearance. Although posts on social media had indicated there may be a large turn-out for the sitting, no group was waiting outside the closed courtroom.

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