Convicted murderer's appeal date six months away

Convicted murderer Dean Richard Mulligan's appeal has yet to be given a hearing date more than a year after he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

The 46-year-old Feilding computer technician was found guilty of bludgeoning 45-year-old Whanganui woman Marice McGregor to death with an iron bar in a remote ravine off State Highway 4, about 50km north of Whanganui, on April 19, 2010.

After a two-week trial he was sentenced in the High Court at Whanganui in 2011 to life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 25 years.

Mulligan was represented at trial by Whanganui lawyer Stephen Ross, but changed representation last year.

He is now represented by New Plymouth lawyer Julian Hannam, who said Mulligan had filed his own appeal and his grounds required "fine tuning", which had contributed to the delay in getting a hearing date.

Trying to clarify those grounds had proved "difficult", and he was working on narrowing their focus in order to put forward a solid case.

He was confident Mulligan would have a hearing date in about six months' time.

Mulligan's brother Sean Mulligan maintained throughout the trial that he was convinced of his brother's guilt, and yesterday told the Manawatu Standard he had remained steadfast in his refusal to visit Mulligan in prison.

He had however spoken to him on the phone after prolonged pressure from a friend of his brother's.

"I told him a couple of weeks ago that I was 100 per cent sure he had done it."

Sean Mulligan said he had been told there was to be a family meeting with his brother, but he was not sure when it was due to happen.

Despite his lack of desire to see his brother, he expected to attend on behalf of the family.

Manawatu Standard