Name suppression sought in Connor Morris case
Associates of murdered man Connor Morris are "dangerous people" who could seek out the accused's family for revenge, lawyers for the man have told a court.
The man accused of killing Morris did not appear in the High Court at Auckland today but that did not stop over 20 Morris supporters, including his girlfriend Millie Holmes and his father Chris Morris, all wearing white "Rest easy Connor Morris" t-shirts, from filling the public gallery.
The accused's lawyer, Marie Dyhrberg, QC, applied for continuing name suppression on the grounds of threats made to the man.
Justice Timothy Brewer said the argument was that "associates of the deceased are dangerous people who would be likely to seek out and kill or hurt gravely his family members".
He rejected the application saying the accused's name was widely known in the community, but he suppressed the name of the man's wife and child and where the man was being held.
Dyhrberg indicated she would appeal so name suppression was re-imposed until 10am on September 5 to give time for an appeal to be lodged.
Morris's father stormed out of court saying "He should have thought about name suppression before he murdered my son, f***** egg".
Morris, 26, died on Sunday, August 3, after a fight in West Auckland. He was in a group of about 15 people walking to a service station to get refreshments when a fight broke out with a similar-sized group having a party in Don Buck Rd.
Morris sustained head injuries, inflicted by an unknown weapon, and died on the way to hospital.
The 33-year-old man accused of the murder was arrested in Northland last month and appeared in the Kaitaia District Court before media or Headhunters gang members - with who the Morris family are associated - could attend.
The man's name was suppressed and his attendance at the High Court today was also excused.
His lawyer, Marie Dyhrberg, QC, told the court her client pleaded not guilty.
Justice Brewer set a four-week trial was set down for August 3, 2015.
Social media sites devoted to Morris have been awash with people threatening the accused, including using Headhunters rhetoric.
The man's court appearance was advertised on Facebook with the page owners appealing for calm and saying they wanted to get the man's name suppression lifted.
A massive police and security presence greeted the court hearing of the man accused of killing Connor Morris today.