Mark Edward Lundy, accused of murdering his wife and child in 2000, has been released on bail.
He was in custody at Rangipo Prison, Turangi, until he was freed this evening after more than 12 years and seven months in custody.
He arrived at his bail address just after 6pm.
Lundy, sporting lightly greying hair, hugged a woman at the front door of the address before heading inside without saying anything to waiting media.
His bail address has been suppressed by the judge who granted bail in the High Court at Wellington this afternoon.
Lundy's nephew, Steven Jones, said he was ''absolutely over the moon'' and ecstatic over the decision, a feeling shared by his parents, Lundy's sister and brother-in-law.
"It's been pretty tough [for the last 12 years]. [We] always supported him, never wavered, so I'm glad today's come," he said.
''I feel extremely relieved. I came into [the hearing] cautiously optimistic, but until they made the actual decision I didn't know what was going to happen.''
Lundy was not at court and did not observe the proceedings via an audio-visual link from Rangipo.
Justice Ronald Young said Lundy would get bail on condition he not contact or attempt to communicate with witnesses.
He also has to report to police each Wednesday afternoon. Lundy's case is next in court on November 11 for a pre-trial hearing.
Reporting of the bail hearing, which took about 45 minutes, was restricted to identifying Lundy, the charges he faced, the judge's decision and conditions of bail. Those are standard conditions under the Bail Act 2000, but Justice Ron Young stressed the restrictions to the dozen reporters in court. Read Justice Young's decision here.
On Monday night, New Zealand time, the Privy Council in London quashed Lundy's convictions and ordered a retrial.
Lundy had maintained he was in Wellington when his wife Christine, 37, and daughter Amber, 7, were hacked to death in a frenzied attack at their Palmerston North home on August 29, 2000.
He was arrested in late February the following year.
A jury at Palmerston North found him guilty at a trial in 2002. He was originally sentenced to serve at least 17 years of a life imprisonment term.
He appealed against his conviction and the Crown appealed against the non-parole period.
The conviction appeal was dismissed and the court increased the minimum term Lundy has to serve to 20 years jail before he could be considered for parole.
In the decision issued on Monday the five-member Privy Council, which included New Zealand Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias, said a retrial should take place as soon as possible.
The committee said that, given the new evidence that it had allowed, Lundy's convictions could not be considered safe.
"Since the trial, a 'welter of evidence' from reputable consultants has cast doubt on the methods the Crown had relied on to establish the time of death based on the contents of the victims’ stomachs,'' the judicial committee said.
It decided the case should go back to the High Court, saying the divisions between experts in the case were profound and ranged over many areas.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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