Suppression for Ilam Road murder accused

Name suppression was granted when a 52-year-old Upper Riccarton man’s murder charge was called at the Christchurch District Court, to give time to tell people of his arrest.

The man did not attend the court sitting because he is remaining in hospital where police say he is being treated for a self-inflicted knife wound. The hospital has reported his condition as serious but stable.

Defence counsel Andrew McCormick said the man was “physically fairly weary” and was likely to stay in Christchurch Hospital all week.

No application was made for bail and he was remanded in custody by consent to appear again in the High Court on October 5. Mr McCormick said he had spoken to the man and taken instructions ahead of the appearance, so that the hearing could go ahead in his absence.

The man’s name was suppressed. Because it has been widely reported that the victim was his ex-partner, her name cannot be reported, nor the name of the male victim who was also allegedly stabbed and remains in hospital.

Judge Tony Couch granted the suppression but ordered that there must be an application for a suppression order before the next High Court appearance.

The man has been charged with murdering the woman on Saturday, and wounding the man with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Police said at the weekend that both were stabbed and the alleged attacker then turned the knife on himself. All were known to each other.

Mr McCormick sent an email memorandum to the judge ahead of the hearing seeking interim suppression on the grounds of “hardship to other people”. The order would give time for him to ascertain “whether those grounds do exist”.

Judge Couch said the remand with suppression would give time for other people to be informed of the situation. Mr McCormick said there were questions about whether the man would be able to do that himself “logistically” because of his condition, and because the police had his phone.

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